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Cracking The Code

» Posted on: 18 April 2007
» Posted by: Tony Catterall
» Service area: Intellectual Property

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The high profile “Da Vinci Code” case took another twist recently when the Court of Appeal confirmed that Dan Brown had not copied enough from Baigent and Leigh’s book “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail” to constitute an infringement of copyright.

What had been copied was not a substantial part of the book. Copyright does not protect ideas themselves, but the labour and skill involved in the expression of those ideas.

A notable feature of the “Da Vinci Code” case was that the Court of Appeal referred at some length to the case of Designers Guild Ltd –v- Russell Williams (Textiles) Ltd which Taylors’ Head of I.P. Tony Catterall successfully took to the House of Lords. For more details of this case, please click here (Word Document will open in a new window). The Court described Designers Guild as a:

“Leading and highly relevant authority” relating to “what it is that one is looking for in asking whether a substantial part of a copyright work has been copied”.

Tony Catterall should be the first port of call for advice on whether competitors have copied a substantial part of your designs, or whether designers have taken more than mere inspiration from your designs that are already on the market when creating new designs.

For his expert view call him on 0844 8000 263 or email Tony Catterall.

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