Legal Updates

Intellectual Property Law - Publishing: Copyright Infringement

In the recent case of IPC Media Ltd v Highbury-SPL Publishing Ltd [2004], the claimant was the publisher of 'Ideal Home', a monthly home design magazine. The defendant was the publisher of a competing title entitled 'Home'. The claimant alleged copyright infringement in the covers and articles in 'Home' magazine. The claimant brought this action on the grounds that the content of certain issues of 'Ideal Home' and 'Home' were equivalent.

The defendant accepted that copyright existed in the covers and articles of certain issues. The defendant, however, denied copying any of the works that the claimant relied on. The defendant argued that, since virtually all of the design elements relied upon were in common use in this industry, it was unsurprising that the claimant could show that it had used some of them, or similar design elements, in earlier issues of its magazines.

The court had to determine whether the covers and articles had been copied and, if so, whether the copying consisted of a 'substantial part' of the covers and articles at issue.

The claim was dismissed. It was held that there was no evidence to support the allegations of copyright infringement made by the claimant.

If you require further information contact us.


© RT COOPERS, 2005. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.


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