Welcome to the new edition of the KPMG Intellectual Property newsletter on developments in the world of copyright, patents, trademarks, designs, domains and other Intellectual Property rights (“IPRs”).

We start the new year with a fresh new look, but as usual with a lot of news and developments in different countries around the world. KPMG firms are proud of their global network of IP lawyers, enabling KPMG professionals to offer an international service to clients in this area.

The interplay of international agreements and rules with national legislation plays a major role, also and especially in the area of Intellectual Property. In the European Union in particular, supranational regulations must be transposed into national law. Find out how this is done in Czechia, Romania and Spain.

Other articles analyze recent court decisions on the national and EU level, for example with regard to the revocability of consent to the use of an image, the protection of partial designs as unregistered designs and the modus operandi of companies managing the IPRs of others.

We also take a look beyond the EU. Vietnam is constantly trying to improve its competitiveness in the IP sector. A report on its accession to the World IP Organization Copyright Treaty as well as an assessment of its IP landscape can be found in the present edition.

Check out the contribution from Belgium regarding a ruling by a Belgian court on the approach of collection agencies.

Discover the complete newsletter below.

Belgian court rules on approach of collection agencies

Belgian courts are taking a closer look at the modus operandi of companies managing Intellectual Property rights of others (considering recent caselaw from the Court of Justice of the European Union).

In recent years we have seen a clear rise of companies who manage the Intellectual Property rights of photographers, authors, etc. These companies are usually the contractual holders of certain Intellectual Property rights, but do not use these rights themselves. They are in fact only functioning as “collection agencies” who actively look for violations on behalf of the author, using specific scanning technology or software (i.e. reverse image tracking technology).

Recently, the Court of Justice of the European Union[1] ruled that, in principle, these contractual holders have the same legal standing to invoke the measures, procedures, and remedies as the original holder(s) of the Intellectual Property rights, provided however that these rights are not abused, which is up to the national courts to assess.

> Read the full article here.

  1. (C-597/19, 17 June 2021, MircomInternational Content Management & Consulting (M.I.C.M.) Limited/TelenetBVBA)