Copyright on product designs finally fully harmonized throughout Europe

The protection of the design of functional and mass produced products by means of copyright has been one of the most controversial subjects in intellectual property law in Europe (and also in the rest of the world). In some jurisdictions, e.g. in the UK and in Ireland, such works have been discriminated by reducing the term of protection. In many other jurisdictions, the threshold for those wor…


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The “Birthday Train” case – strengthening of copyrighted design protection in Germany

With the “Birthday Train” judgement, the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) distanced itself from the so called “Stufentheorie” applied for many decades and expanded the range of product designs that can be protected by copyright.

With the landmark “Birthday Train” judgement of 13 November 2013 (file number I ZR 143/12), the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) changed its practice of judgi…


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