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COPYRIGHT

HISTORY:

  • Professor Lionel Bently continues to develop the Primary Sources on Copyright Project.

ARTISTIC WORKS:

  • Dr Elena Cooper is revising her Yorke-prize-winning doctoral thesis on the history of copyright in photographs for publication.

VIDEO GAMES:

  • Yin Harn Lee is some way in to her doctoral thesis on copyright issues surrounding video games and user-created video game modifications. The video game sector has become one of the most important parts of the cultural economy, and her thesis examines how copyright law protects different elements of video games, the extent to which such copyright is infringed by video game modifications, and the extent to which such activity may legitimately be regulated by end-user licence agreements.

UNPUBLISHED WORKS:

  • Dr Patrick Masiyakurama recently completed his doctorate on copyright in unpublished work. This valuable thesis seeks to answer the question whether unpublished works should be treated differently by copyright and, if so, why? The work explores the history of protection of unpublished works, differences in the extent of protection between undisclosed, unpublished and published works. The thesis argues that much of the current law is defensible.

AUTHORSHIP:

  • Under the Humanities in the European Research Environment scheme, three CIPIL members have been involved in researching aspects of authorship – Dr Laura Biron, Dr Elena Cooper and Professor Lionel Bently. Laura Biron, a philosopher by training, has explored the philosophical justifications for protecting authorship, and with Elena Cooper has brought aesthetic theories to bear in examining questions of what counts as a work of authorship. Laura has also been co-authoring two papers with Lionel Bently on discontinuities between legal definitions of authorship and social and cultural practices of designating authors, including one that examines the place of authorship in the entertainment franchise.
  • Dr Elena Cooper is completing important articles on the history of mass co-authorship, comparing the production of the OED and Wikipedia, and also on the place of authorship in digital art. Lionel Bently is developing a paper on the disparate polices informing notions of authorship within copyright law.

INFRINGEMENT:

  • Under a CIGREF Research Grant, Dr Ge Chen has been exploring the challenges faced in the protection of copyright and privacy in the digital environment. The work includes consideration of the problems with private international law, determining where to bring actions and the applicable law. 

MORAL RIGHTS:

  • David Simon has begun doctoral work exploring personality-based justifications for moral rights of attribution and integrity, examining closely the nineteenth century arguments for moral rights, and twenty-first century alternatives.

DIGITISATION BY MUSEUMS AND LIBRARIES:

  • Under and AHRC research grant Dr Eleonora Rosati has been examining problems facing museums and libraries in digitising their collections, and associated materials, for use particularly in the mobile environment. Her work includes detailed analysis of orphan works, as well as consideration of why different institutions utilise different forms of licensing.

LEGAL PROTECTION OF NEWS:

  • Professor Bently and Professor Ian Hargreaves will lead a research project on the challenges facing print media and whether law can have any role in sustaining the productions of print newspapers. The project will begin in 2014.

TECHNOLOGICAL PROTECTION MEASURES.

  • Petroula Vantsiouri is completing a thesis on technological protection measures, which includes comparison of the three different systems of protection currently recognised under EU law, and examination of the US equivalents.

PATENTS, UTILITY MODELS, PLANTS BREEDERS RIGHTS

COMPUTER PROGRAMS:

  • Nigel Stone has begun a doctoral thesis examining the problems with permitting the patenting of computer programs, and alternative legal mechanisms that might be available to meet the challenges posed by patentability of software.

BIO-SCIENCE:

  • Dr Kathy Liddell is researching the operation of patent law in the field of bio-science, in particular relating to questions of the timing of patent in the research cycle.

 ETHICS:

  • Dr Liddell has been working on questions of when patents are to be refused on grounds of morality and the implications of such rules for stem cell research.

THE INVENTIVE CONCEPT:

  • Julia Powles is undertaking a close examination of British patent jurisprudence from the last forty years to ask whether there is any coherence to the judicially developed and widely deployed notion of the inventive concept. She explores how the notion is used in various contexts from unity of invention to determining inventorship.

SELECTION INVENTIONS:

  • Dr Kathy Liddell has been researching the law relating to selection inventions and the rules on novelty.

PERSON SKILLED IN THE ART:

  • Professor Bently has been collaborating with Michael Silverleaf QC in examining the historical origins and current conception of the person skilled in the art.

UTILITY MODELS:

  • Dr Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan has been examining the international framework for the protection of utility models, and argues that it is sufficiently flexible to offer a useful mechanism for experimentation with different ways of promoting technological innovation. Henning has acted as a consultant for WIPO to advise dev eloping countries (currently Pakistan and Jordan) on law and policy aspects of introducing a separate legal regime for the protection of small and incremental innovations

TRADE MARKS, PASSING OFF AND UNFAIR COMPETITION

BRANDS:

  • Dr Jennifer Davis continues her ground-breaking work on the relationship between trade marks and brands, exploring how brands differ from trade marks and the ways in which “brand-thinking” is affecting ideas about the function of trade marks and the scope of protection.

TRADE MARKS

  • Following her earlier work on the concept of the ‘average consumer’ in European trade mark law, Jennifer Davis is examining how this concept has changed in light of case law as well as the evolving economic and social context in which the law is made.  Together with linguistic Professor Alan Durant, Jennifer Davis is also considering the relationship between law and meaning in relation European trade mark protection

ORIGINS:

  • Following earlier work on the 19th century origins of modern trade mark law, Professor Lionel Bently has been examining the 18th century common law cases concerning trade marks, including the first reported case, Singleton v Bolton (1783).  Following her work on the historical roots of the average consumer and also the public domain in relation to trade mark protection, Jennifer is researching and writing a book on the history of trade marks and trade descriptions in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Britain as rooted in within the changing social, political and economic context of the period.

UNFAIR COMPETITION:

  • Jennifer Davis has been examining the question of whether English law already in practice protects traders from unfair competition and whether there would be benefits from explicit recognition that it does so.

COMPARATIVE UNFAIR COMPETITION LAW:

  • Jennifer Davis is taking a comparative view of unfair competition law, including the law in the UK, France, Germany and the USA.

TRADE SECRETS

ORIGINS:

  • Having completed Gurry on Confidence: The Law of Confidential Information (OUP, 2012) (with T Aplin, P Johnson and S Malynicz), Professor Bently has been working on the origins of the legal protection of trade secrecy, and trade secrecy practices in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. An article on Newbery v James (1817) will appear in a forthcoming volume edited by Rochelle Dreyfus and Jane Ginsburg, IP at the Edge.

NATURE:

  • Are trade secrets intellectual property? In a forthcoming article, Lionel Bently argues that while confidential information is not viewed as property, recent developments increasingly treat trade secrets as property.

 INTERNATIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.

MEANING:

  • Professor Bently is undertaking work on the emergence of “intellectual property” as a legal concept in international, regional and national laws. He argues “intellectual property” has been transformed from a category of laws to a legal category of its own, but that uncertainty surrounds precisely what “intellectual property” means in different contexts.

TRIPS, ACTA AND BILATERALS:

  • Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan, who joins CIPIL in October 2013, is undertaking research on intellectual property provisions within bilateral and regional free trade agreements. He recently led a project at the Max Planck Institute that developed a set of standards for FTAs, which was launched at ATRIP in Oxford in June 2013.

GOODS IN TRANSIT:

  • Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan has been examining question as to whether it is permissible for parties to TRIPs and other WTO Agreements, in particular the GATT, to operate systems for detention of in transit goods that infringe IPRs in neither the country of production or destination, but only the country of transit.

MAXIMUM STANDARDS:

  • Dr Grosse Ruse-Khan has been developing the idea of maximum standards in international intellectual property law as a mechanism for preventing the continual ratcheting up of IP rights. In significant contributions, he has identified a number of maxima already present within the IP framework.

TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE:

  • Sun Thathong , a doctoral researcher, is researching the protection of traditional knowledge in international law.

RELATIONS WITH OTHER AREAS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW:

  • Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan is working on a monograph that aims to analyse IP as one of several areas of international law, focussing on the relations with other, interconnected areas and different legal mechanisms to understand these relationships.

INFORMATION LAW AND IMAGE RIGHTS

DATA PROTECTION:

  • Dr David Erdos is an expert on the law of data protection, focussing on tensions between data protection and freedom of expression and freedom of information, in particular with respect to the traditional media, the new social media and academic research.

MEDICAL DATA:

  • Dr Liddell continues to work on the problems posed for medical research by data protection and privacy laws.

IMAGE RIGHTS:

  • Dr Cooper has been researching the history of protection of an individual’s image in the context of the early uses of photography.

OPENNESS:

  • Professor Bently is embarking on a project on the history of the regulation of openness and secrecy.