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Intellectual Property Law
CPD Points:
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Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority:
Listen and pass the quiz: Gain 1 CPD point (60 minutes)
Listen only, gain ½ a CPD point (30 minutes)

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board:
Listen and pass the quiz: Gain 1 accredited CPD point (60 minutes)

Regulated by ILEX:
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Listen only, gain ½ a CPD point (30 minutes)

  • FREE
30 minutes of audio
(+ optional 5 minute online quiz)
Plays on Computer:
Yes Downloadable as MP3:    Yes
Course Aims:

This podcast is aimed at intellectual property practitioners, particularly those interested in cross border copyright infringement. The podcast aims to set out the facts and issues in the recent Supreme Court case of Lucasfilm Limited and Ors v Ainsworth and Anor [2011] UKSC 39. It examines the contentious battle as to whether Stormtrooper helmets constituted sculpture and the consequences that flowed from such a finding. The podcast also reviews the important issue of justiciability in cross border copyright infringement cases.

After completing the course you will:
  • Understand the facts and background to the case leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision;
  • Understand the significance of sections 51 and 52 Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988;
  • Understand why the question of whether the helmet was sculpture was so important;
  • Know the importance attached to utility or function when considering an object’s status as a sculpture;
  • Understand the arguments raised on both sides as to the appropriate rationale when an object is both ‘art’ and functional object;
  • Be aware of Mr Justice Mann’s 9 principles which were applied at first instance and their status following the appeal;
  • Understand the key parts of the argument in the Supreme Court surrounding justiciability of the Appellant’s US claim for infringement in the English courts;
  • Understand how the issue of justiciability was dealt with by the Supreme Court and where case goes now.
General Interest Difficulty: 2 of 5
Case Update
Sources and References:
  • Copyrights Designs & Patent Act 1988 ss 51, 52;
  • Lucasfilm Ltd & Ors v Ainsworth & Anor [2011] UKSC 39;
  • Designer Guild Limited v. Russell Williams (Textiles) Limited (Trading As Washington Dc) [2000] UKHL 58.

This podcast is about the 2011 Supreme Court case concerning copyright infringement arising from the reproduction of Star Wars Stormtrooper helmets. With a leading IP silk – who representing the winning party in the litigation, this podcast examines the issues in the case, how they were resolved and what it means for those in the intellectual property sector.

Podcast added: 10/08/11

Podcast last reviewed: 2012-02-27

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