Someone recently bought our

students are currently browsing our notes.


Copyright 3 (Infringement) Cases

Law Notes > Intellectual Property Law Notes

Updates Available  

A more recent version of these Copyright 3 (Infringement) Cases notes – written by Oxford students – is available here.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Intellectual Property Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

COPYRIGHT 3 (INFRINGEMENT) Primary Infringement Substantial Part Newspaper Licensing Authority v Marks and Spencer [2003]
D, Marks and Spencer, obtained press cuttings of articles in which they were mentioned from an agency licensed by C. D then made further copies of those cuttings for circulation to its Executives; in this process, changes were made so that articles fitted on an A4 sheet. C alleged that the copying of those articles was an infringement of typographical arrangement copyright (section 8) subsisting in newspapers. Relevant question was whether typographical arrangement copyright subsisted in the individual articles, or just in the newspaper as a whole. Held: Test for Substantiality

See notes. Typographical Arrangement

'Presentation and layout' in a newspaper is a combination of: choice of typeface, number and width of columns, relationship between headlines and text, number of articles per page etc.

The relation between size of copied part and size of work as a whole is irrelevant to this test
? Therefore it is irrelevant whether copyright subsists in the individual articles or newspaper as a whole Facts


On facts, changes made to make sure articles fit on A4 sheet mean there is no breach.

Designer Guild v Russell Williams [1998]
C owned copyright in a painting from which it produced a fabric design - design was stripes with flowers on top of it. C complained that D had infringed copyright in its painting through copying the fabric design in D's own fabric design. D claimed he was not aware of C's design, though there was evidence D had attended trade show at which C's design was displayed. Held:



There was infringement. Whether substantial part of artistic work has been taken depends upon cumulative effect of copied features.
? And NOT upon whether each feature has in isolation been substantially copied.

If similarities between two works are sufficient to raise inference of copying, those similarities will normally satisfy requirement of substantiality.

See notes.

Baigent v Random House Group [2007]
C published a non-fiction book, "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" based on proposition that Jesus' bloodline had survived. D wrote the fictional thriller "The Da Vinci Code" based on same main idea. D had access to C's book when writing Da Vinci Code, and C claimed for breach on grounds C had copied 15 Central Theme elements. Held:



Parts allegedly copied by D were not protected by the literary work copyright subsisting in HBHG
? parts allegedly copied were merely general propositions at too high a level of abstraction to attract copyright
? thus fell on wrong side of ideas/expression divide In addition, what D had taken from C's work was not sufficiently substantial to qualify for copyright protection
? the Central Theme was not a substantial part of HBHG
? was simply a selection of similar features compiled in order to give impression of copying

Impact of EU Law Newspaper Licensing Authority v Meltwater [2011]
For facts see supervision 2. One issue was whether the 256-character extracts copied from the articles were 'substantial' enough for there to be an infringement of copyright in those articles. Held: Facts


On facts, 256-character extracts sufficiently substantial to give rise to infringement.

Causal Connection Hunter v Bron [1963]
D published a song in 1959. C alleged that this infringed copyright of his song published in

1926. D denied that he had copied C's work, and accepted that if he had heard it, it was when he was young. Held:



See notes. Possibility that D heard work when he was young insufficient to give rise to inference of subconscious copying.

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Intellectual Property Law Notes.

More Intellectual Property Law Samples