Good day everyone. Hope these first few weeks are not too harsh on you. Now, grab a cup of warm beverage and prepare for the IP news.
Great Eros vs WeWoreWhat
WeWoreWhat is a fashion blog that has also evolved into an online shop, and that filed for a preliminary injunction, seeking for the Court to declare that its products were non-infringing of the Great Eros’ copyright (a woman silhouette-centric print), nor engaging in unfair competition by manufacturing and selling products bearing a lookalike pattern.
On the left, WWW item. On the right, the Great Eros wrapping paper
Back in August 2020, WWW received a cease-and-desist letter in which the Great Eros accused the brand (and the influencer behind it) of copyright infringement and of engaging in unfair competition via the use of a silhouette pattern on swimwear and activewear goods. These silhouettes are, allegedly, unauthorised reproductions of the Great Eros’ “famous artwork”, the brand argued in its cease-and-desist letter, pointing to the silhouette-centric pattern that it has been using on its own product packaging since 2017.
WWW responded to the letter by denying the accusations. Eros responded with threats of litigation.
As a result of these threats, WWW decided to file a suit of its own preventively, before a New York Federal Court, seeking a declaration of non-copyright infringement based on the fact that Great Eros had failed multiple times to prove that the WWW Silhouette Design was “substantially similar” to that of its tissue paper design (substantial similarity is the US standard for gauging whether two works are similar enough to give rise to a finding of copyright infringement).
The Great Eros has recently filed its defence against said claim, denying all the allegations of WWW. In addition, according to Eros, the WWW preventative filing was filed in anticipation of an infringement action to be filed by Eros, while settlement negotiations were pending.
What do you think? Can Eros claim ownership over the use of a woman silhouette?
Global ++ vs PokemonGo
Providing tools and services enabling players to cheat in video games is actually a bigger business than any of us can imagine, but it is also a risky one. Indeed, cheats makers are increasingly being targeted by developers.
Back in June 2019, Global++, provider of cheats for numerous videogames, was targeted by Niantic, PokemonGo’s original developer. According to said complaint, the only permissible way to play its augmented reality games is via its original apps, which are the only ones that have permission to access Niantic’s servers and contain protected proprietary code, code that Global++ was alleged to have copied.
The parties have now recently reached a settlement in which they agree that the defendants profited from unauthorised derivative versions of Niantic’s mobile apps that used substantial portions of Niantic’s copyrighted computer code without Niantic’s permission (Global++ recognised that it committed a copyright infringement and profited from said infringement).
Since all of Niantic's games are multiplayer, both parties agree that the hacked versions gave cheaters an unfair advantage over regular players, something which undermined the overall gaming experience. The cheating programs diminished enthusiasm for the official products and in some cases even drove players away from Niantic’s games altogether. As a result, the actions of Global++ damaged Niantic’s reputation and its business.
To settle the matter, Global++ agreed to pay Niantic $5,000,000 in damages and subject themselves to an injunction permanently restraining them from developing, marketing, or receiving payment for the cheating programs or substantially similar products. They also agree not to offer or receive payment for products utilising Niantic's data or intellectual property and to refrain from reverse engineering, decompiling or disassembling Niantic products.