Good morning. Hope everyone had a good rest over the weekend and you are all ready for some fresh IP News.
LibertyTest Farma vs Amazon
Today we are bringing legal disputes to the EU. A Spanish company called “LibertyTest Farma” that sells pregnancy and ovulation tests has filed a complaint against Amazon for trade mark infringement. This company has been selling its test since 2010 and building a strong reputation on the market, soon becoming a benchmark in the industry.
However, as of 2016, the company saw a strong decrease in its sales without any apparent reason: the products were the same and their webpage was still fully operative. After some investigation, the Spanish company discovered an Ad from Amazon at the top of the most famous search engines where the company was advertising under the name “LibertyTest” pregnancy tests that were not the ones from the Spanish owner and for a lower price.
Because LibertyTest is a registered trade mark, the Spanish company has the exclusive right to use it and to prevent third parties to use it without authorisation. In its complaint, the company not only proves that its sales have decreased, but also that the company’s reputation has been tarnished. Indeed, consumers have been writing complaint emails to the company because the product they purchased through Amazon does not comply with the expected quality and characteristics advertised by the Spanish company. The company considers that Amazon’s positioning tool generates confusion among consumers who end up purchasing one product when they wanted to purchase the original LibertyTest.
Originally, the company reached out to Amazon with evidence supporting their claims so that AdWords would remove the ads for their product which has never been sold through Amazon. The company also contacted Google, Bing and Yahoo asking them to take down the ads from Amazon, ads that were taken down by the above-mentioned company.
Europol took down one of the biggest piracy group
In a coordinated action with the US authorities and their counterpart in 18 other countries, Europol has managed to take down the Sparks Group, one of the major criminal network of copyright-infringing hackers. Sixty servers were taken down in North America, Europe and Asia and several of the main suspects were arrested.
The Sparks Group managed to obtain DVDs and Blu-ray discs of unreleased content by posing as retailers and compromised the copyright protections on the discs to reproduce and upload the content publicly on streaming platforms, peer-to-peer and torrent networks from their platforms.
From here we congratulate all the participating authorities for this action against piracy.
SEDA, the birth of a new copyright organisation
For those of you who don’t know, up until now, the SGAE was the only Spanish private entity dedicated to the collective management of IPRs over musical works. Its objective was to collect royalties arising from the use of the works of its members and then share the remuneration with them. However, the SGAE has been at the centre of many scandals, dealing with numerous judicial issues and accused of poor management overall.
Now, a group of musicians have stepped up and decided to create SEDA, an organisation that has been granted official authorisation by the Spanish government and will now offer an alternative to all copyright holders. For copyright holders, SEDA is a milestone. Indeed, it is the first time in history that copyright holders will have the option to choose between two collective management organisations (up until now, the SGAE had a monopoly for musical works).
And this is all for this week! You can expect our monthly blog post on Thursday.