Federal Supreme Court of Germany confirms title protection for smartphone-apps

The German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) held for the first time that not only names of websites but also designations of smartphone-apps may be protected under the German Trademark Act (MarkenG). Section 5 of the German Trademark Act provides for a protection of “commercial designations” including titles. Each designation that falls within the scope of the provision will be protected by German Trademark Law despite the lack of a registration. The scope of protection provides for several claims although it differs from registered trademarks.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/federal-supreme-court-of-germany-confirms-title-protection-for-smartphone-apps/

What to expect from the Privacy Shield and the General Data Protection Regulation

DLA Piper Shared Insights at Bloomberg Law’s 2016 Outlook on Privacy and Data Security in Washington DC

On February 3rd, the day after announcement of the US-EU Privacy Shield provisional agreement, DLA Piper’s Carol Umhoefer, Jim Halpert and Giangi Olivi discussed EU data protection developments at Bloomberg Law’s 2016 Outlook on Privacy and Data Security, in Washington DC, following a presentation by Shannon Coe, privacy leader at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, that summarized the terms of the provisional agreement. Here is a short analysis of the issues they discussed, which will be of relevance also for companies operating in the media, sport & entertainment sectors. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/what-to-expect-from-the-privacy-shield-and-the-general-data-protection-regulation/

Germany: EU Court rules against German sports betting regulation/new German legislation strongly needed

By Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt and Christoph Engelmann

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that EU law may preclude the imposition of penalties in respect of the unauthorised cross-border intermediation of sporting bets carried out in Germany (judgment in case C-336/14). The case has been referred to the ECJ by a German local court (AG Sonthofen). AG Sonthofen had to decide whether someone who carries out sporting bet intermediation activities by means of a gaming machine installed in a sports bar located in Germany without the necessary German gambling license could be prosecuted. The sporting bets have been collected on behalf of a company established in Austria and holding an Austrian but not a German sporting bets license.

In Germany it is a criminal offense to collect sporting bets without the necessary German gambling license. Following an ECJ decision in 2010 the German courts ruled that the former state monopoly for sporting bets was contrary to EU law. That is why in 2012 a new State Treaty on Gambling came into force that allows 20 sporting bets licenses for private organizers as an “experimental clause” for seven years. However no license has been issued because of court rulings finding the licensing procedure to be intransparent, discriminating and unconstitutional. The state sporting bets organizer on the other hand was able to continue its business because of a transitional provision.

The ECJ ruled that a prosecution of the sporting bets intermediate is contrary to EU law under this circumstances. The reason is that the licensing process for private organizers has been held to not conform with EU law by national courts. In addition the state monopoly for sporting bets that has already been decided by national courts to not conform with EU law persists because of the transitional provision. As a result the prosecution would only rely on a formality – no license – that roots in an infringement of EU law.

With its decision the ECJ strengthens the role of sporting bets intermediaries in Germany. The German state legislators are now even more put on the spot to pass a new legislation with a licensing procedure compliant to EU law. In addition the Bavarian Constitutional Court recently ruled that sections of the State Treaty on Gambling are unconstitutional and the Higher Administrative Court of Hesse ruled that the central decision-making body of the State Treaty on Gambling (the so-called gambling council) is unconstitutional, too. The decision of the ECJ continues these doubts about the German gambling regulation. Some states (like Hesse) have already demanded new and more liberal legislation.

Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/germany-eu-court-rules-against-german-sports-betting-regulationnew-german-legislation-strongly-needed/

Bulgaria: Weightlifting Federation banned from Olympics

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued a decision to keep the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation (BWF) banned from entering the next Olympic Games.

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Europe: Traditional cultural expression and the fashion industry- inspiration or misappropriation?

by Giulia Zappaterra and Sara Balice

It is not new that the fashion industry often takes inspiration from designs and method of productions of cultural heritage or traditional know-how of indigenous or local communities. A substantial number of fashion designers rely on indigenous and traditional crafts, block printing and embroidery techniques to create new designs and materials. For instance, last year the London-based fashion house KTZ debuting at the New York Fashion Week for fall season 2015 featured homage to native American aesthetics; also recently Havaianas commercialized (amazing) flip flops with a design inspired by the Yawalapiti tribe in Amazonia.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/europe-traditional-cultural-expression-and-the-fashion-industry-inspiration-or-misappropriation/

2016 – Main trends on Cybersecurity!

While many are not yet aware of the full breadth of the cybercrime phenomenon (cybercrime globally generates more revenues and is more profitable than drug trafficking!), there is a general consensus about the fact that certain breaches cannot be avoided. With a proliferation of connected devices operated remotely and a more pervasive use of data, companies are facing increasing (and more sophisticated) cyber threats. Such trend leads to increasing regulations fostering cybersecurity best practices. Here are our main takeaways from the cybersecurity seminar held in Milan last week. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/2016-main-trends-on-cybersecurity/

The Netherlands: Sports sponsor deal puts further pressure on tax rate

By Róbin de Wit and Richard van Schaik

Yesterday, morning, a national Dutch newspaper reported that Unibet entered into a sponsor agreement with the Royal Dutch Cycling Union. As promoting gambling is still prohibited in the Netherlands, the agreement can only come into force once the new online gambling legislation has been introduced.

According to the newspaper, Unibet set two important conditions to the sponsor agreement. Firstly, the contract is subject to Unibet obtaining a license to operate in the Netherlands. Secondly,  the tax rate of 29%, the rate mentioned in the proposed legislation, should be lowered to 20%.

The second condition is remarkable and creative, as this puts indirectly pressure on Dutch government to lower the proposed tax rate, especially given the fact that the most recent signals from the government, indicate that the tax rate will start at 29% and might ultimately decrease to 25%. However, a final decision in this respect is still pending.

Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/the-netherlands-sports-sponsor-deal-puts-further-pressure-on-tax-rate/

EUROPE: EU seeks views on cross-border portability

The UK Government is seeking views on the European Commission’s proposal to introduce legislation allowing cross-border portability of digital content services.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/europe-eu-seeks-views-on-cross-border-portability/

Italy: The Internet of Things after the Jobs Act

By Giulio Coraggio and Giu Zappaterra

The new Italian Jobs Act provisions open new opportunities for the usage of Internet of Things technologies aimed at monitoring employees in their working activity. 

We covered this issue in a previous post, but since the law has now been approved with some relevant changes, it is important to address the issue again. Also, we ran a presentation on the Internet of Things after the Jobs Act (available here) recently.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/italy-the-internet-of-things-after-the-jobs-act/

Australia: Do slot (aka “pokie”) machines fall foul of the Australian Consumer Law?

By Jane Collis.

Contributing partner – Melinda Upton.

The Alliance for Gambling Reform (the Alliance) thinks so. In October 2015, the Alliance’s representatives spoke with the Australian media to announce that the Alliance, which consists of local city councils, religious organisations and not for profits targeting problem gambling and public health, is working on a potential claim against the multi-billion dollar slot machine industry in Australia.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/australia-do-slot-aka-pokie-machines-fall-foul-of-the-australian-consumer-law/

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