Commons:Threshold of originality/Europe

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This page gives overviews of Threshold of originality rules in different countries or territories of Europe. It is "transcluded" from individual page sections giving the rules for each territory.

Countries of Europe[edit]

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COM:TOO Albania

Albania

No information available

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COM:TOO Andorra

Andorra

No information available

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COM:TOO Armenia

Armenia

No information available

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COM:TOO Austria

Austria

Austria has a low threshold of originality despite being a civil law country. See the archived discussion on the German Wikipedia.

These logos are OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK:

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COM:TOO Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

No information available

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COM:TOO Belarus

Belarus

No information available

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COM:TOO Belgium

Belgium

No information available

No information available

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COM:TOO Bulgaria

Bulgaria

No information available

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COM:TOO Croatia

Croatia

No information available

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COM:TOO Cyprus

Cyprus

No information available

The work must be "a unique outcome of the creative activity of the author".[121/2000–2006 Art.2(1)]

For photographs and computer programs, it suffices if the work "is original in the sense that it is the author’s own intellectual creation".[121/2000–2006 Art.2(2)]

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COM:TOO Denmark

Denmark

Status Example Notes
OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK
Aalborg Broncestøberi skrifttype A, B og D.png
Three fonts not eligible for copyright protection (Supreme Court 30 June 2006, U2006.2697H). Two other fonts were found eligible for copyright.
OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK
Jydsk Vindueskompagni - skitser af vinduer og døre.png
Sketches of windows and doors not eligible for copyright protection (The Maritime and Commercial Court 8 August 2003.)[5][6]
OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK The WWF panda logo is not protected by copyright[7]
OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK
Kitchen knife by yashima.jpg
The GLOBAL knife design is copyright protected in Denmark.[8]
OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK
Chair.png
A specific chair design (Tripp Trapp).[9]
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COM:TOO Estonia

Estonia

No information available

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COM:TOO Finland

Finland

For works of visual art, the threshold of originality is relatively low.[10]

Simple logos, however, are generally below the threshold of originality.[11] In particular, the threshold is high when only basic colors and shapes (such as triangles, squares and circles or capital letters) are used.[12][10]

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK
Paavo Nurmi sytyttää olympiatulen 1952.jpg
Simple photograph with limited copyright period – not a photographic work of art. (TN 2003:6)
OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK
Uusimaa.vaakuna.svg
Differences compared to the coat of arms of the historic region did not meet threshold of originality. (TN 1998:5)
OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK Commons:Deletion_requests/Aalto_vases "The wave-like forms of the [original Aalto vases] do not... result from the intended use of the object but the creative mental effort of the author. [Therefore the original vases] are independent and original enough to be considered works of art as meant in 1 § of [the Finnish Copyright law]" (p. 4). (TN 2010:10)
OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK A specific house type (Eurohouse S 2, court ruling)
OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK
Pelastakaa Lapset (Save the Children Fund) Nettivihje logo.gif
The logo is below the threshold of originality because it is "ordinary and [does] not express an independent and original result of a creative process of its author. Somebody else in undertaking a comparable task could have contrived a similar ... logo". (TN 2000:1)
OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK Save the Children Fund logo The logo is above the threshold of originality, because its "visual manifestation is the creative work of its author, whereby the ideological basis of the fund has been successfully conformed with in an independent and original manner... [N]o one else undertaking a comparable task could have reached a similar outcome". (TN 2010:3)
OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK
Citymarketin logo.svg

and

K-Plussa logo (old).gif
The logos are "in their literary and visual manifestation simple and ordinary to the degree that they are not to be regarded as original works in their own regard." (TN 2009:2)
OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK
Kiitosimeon logo.gif
The logo is "is not original and independent in such a way that it would be protected ... by copyright". (TN 2011:7)
OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK
Soikeapallo logo.jpg
The logo is below the threshold of originality because "its central elements and the way in which they have been combined are commonly used in logos and are thus ordinary". (TN 2000:1)
OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK "Silmu" logo Although the logo consists of a "stylized, albeit fairly simple, red tulip", it is above the threshold of originality for works of visual art. (TN 2001:12)
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COM:TOO France

France

Unlike the "sweat of the brow" doctrine in the UK, French law asserts that a work is copyrightable when it bears the "imprint of the personality of the author". In practice, it depends on the work in question, but this has left the bar quite low for many works where an artistic intent can be shown. For an art exhibition, a man placed the word paradis with gold lettering above the bathroom door of the old dormitory of alcoholics at a psychiatric facility, and termed it artwork; the French courts agreed with him that it was copyrightable based on the aesthetic choices made ("affixing the word 'paradise' in gold with patina effect and a special graphics on dilapidated door, the lock-shaped cross, encased in a crumbling wall with peeling paint").[13]

France has "a slightly higher threshold of originality in general, and particularly so in the context of photographic works".[14]

A decision from Supreme court (Cour de Cassation) on October 2011 agreed with appeal court decision saying that a quite artistic picture of two fish on a yellow plate about a traditional Marseille meal could not be protected by French law because of lack of originality.[15] According to this decision, level of originality required by this appeal court is very high. This decision was criticized but French supreme court does not control facts but only controls interpretation of the law. In 2017, copyright protection on this image of Jimi Hendrix was restored after a court initially denied protection.

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COM:TOO Georgia

Georgia

No information available

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COM:TOO Germany

Germany

Works of fine art (including works of applied art and architectural works)

"Works of fine art", as defined in § 2(1)(4) of the 1965 Act on Copyright and Related Rights (Gesetz über Urheberrecht und verwandte Schutzrechte) (UrhG), is a catch-all term for works of fine art in a stricter sense, works of applied art, and architectural works. Fine art is distinguished from applied art by its lack of a utilitarian purpose.[16] For many decades, courts imposed a higher threshold of originality on works of applied art than on works of fine art ("two-tier theory").[17] In 2013, however, the Federal Court of Justice expressly changed its jurisprudence, holding that "in general, the copyright protection of works of applied art is not subject to other requirements than the copyright protection of works of non-utilitarian fine art or of literary or musical creation. It is hence sufficient that they attain a level of creativity that allows a public open to art and relatively familiar with views on art to justifiably speak of 'artistic' creations".[18]

In assessing whether an article with a utilitarian purpose is protected by copyright, one must take into account, however, that the aesthetic effect of the article can only provide a basis for copyright protection to the extent that it is not dictated by the article's utilitarian purpose, but instead is based on an artistic effort.[19] Only those features of a utilitarian article that are not entirely dictated by the technical function can justify copyright protection.[20] A feature is considered "dictated by the technical function" if the article could not function without it.[21] This includes features that, for technical reasons, must necessarily be used in articles of the same kind as the article concerned, as well as features that, while being used for technical reasons, are freely selectable or interchangeable. To the extent that the design of such features is entirely dictated by their technical function, they are incapable of justifying copyright protection of the utilitarian article.[22]

Examples from court cases on applied art:[23]

Protection denied:

  • a climbing structure for playgrounds made of ropes (pictured here, p 3 bottom) because the structure consists of freely selectable or interchangeable yet technically required features and does not exhibit artistic creativity;[24]
  • a wooden toy train ("birthday train") with wagons in which candles and numbers can be inserted (pictured here, p 3) because there were similar-looking, pre-existing toy trains.[25]
  • a logo (pictured here in black and white) consisting of the text "Match by Audiotec X" and the commonly used "fast-forward" symbol because neither the design of the text nor the design of the symbol ("widely used in the audio world") nor the combination of the two could be considered an artistic creation.[26]

Protection accorded:

  • a design element ("AIDA Smiling Lips") consisting of a mouth, eyes, and wave lines ("eyebrows") (pictured here, p 3; in the case at issue, the design was painted on the exterior of a ship and as such could be reproduced under the freedom of panorama limitation);[27]
  • a train-like line of wooden animal figures on wheels ("birthday caravan") (pictured here, p 3) because it was a complete redesign of pre-existing toy trains, whose locomotive and waggons were replaced with animal figures, and the overall design (shapes, colours) was not the result of technical necessities but an expression of the author's artistic creativity;[28]
  • an urn with an airbrushed deer design (pictured here, on the left);[29]
  • the design of a combined table of standings for three football leagues, which allowed fans to continuously update the tables by sticking cardboard riders with the logos of the football clubs into slits corresponding to their current positions (the case concerned the 2011/12 version of the table by the German magazine Kicker, pictured here, accessed 24 August 2019) even though most of the design features of the sheet were determined by technical considerations;[30]

In the past decades, court cases where protection as applied art was eventually accorded primarily revolved around renowned designer objects, in particular items of furniture and lamps.[31] A few more recent examples:

  • chairs and tables based on drafts by the designers Marcel Breuer ("Wassily" chair, "Laccio" table) and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe ("Barcelona" chair, stool, couch, and table; "Brno" chair; "Prag" chair);[32]
  • the "Wilhelm Wagenfeld table lamp" (pictured here, accessed 24 August 2019);[33]
  • a brilliant-cut diamond ring ("Niessing-Spannring") (pictured here as "Niessing Ring© ROUND", accessed 24 August 2019).[34]
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COM:TOO Greece

Greece

The term “work” is defined as including any original intellectual creation expressed in any form, including alterations of other works as well as collections of works, provided that the selection or the arrangement of such collections is original.[35]

Originality is understood by Greek jurisprudence as a notion of “statistical uniqueness”, which means that the work involves skill, labor and judgment emanating from the author and that no other person, acting under the same circumstances, could produce the exact same work.[36]

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COM:TOO Hungary

Hungary

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK

  • stylized text with a common stylized globe icon (does not show the actual image).[37]

OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK

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COM:TOO Iceland

Iceland

No information available

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COM:TOO Ireland

Republic of Ireland

Pictogram-voting-question.svg Unknown

Despite uncertainty on the required level of originality needed to qualify for copyright protection, images that have been retained on Commons include:

Image Description Discussion
ISPCA official logo.png ISPCA official logo Commons:Deletion requests/File:ISPCA official logo.png
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COM:TOO Italy

Italy

Hogan Lovells states "In summary, the threshold for an industrial design product to enjoy copyright protection is still quite high and even famous industrial design products have been denied such protection by Italian Courts."[39]

Probably this applies to logos too. These files have been kept as simple logos:

But the logo of AC Parma was deleted as being a complex logo.[40] Another Parma logo has been deleted but then restored.

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COM:TOO Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan

No information available

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COM:TOO Latvia

Latvia

No information available

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COM:TOO Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein

No information available

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COM:TOO Lithuania

Lithuania

No information available

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COM:TOO Luxembourg

Luxembourg

According to Jean-Luc Putz, the threshold of originality in Luxembourg is not as strict as in UK but not as liberal as in Germany. During the legislation the intent was to orientate with other Benelux states or France.[41]

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COM:TOO Malta

Malta

No information available

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COM:TOO Moldova

Moldova

No information available

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COM:TOO Monaco

Monaco

No information available

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COM:TOO Montenegro

Montenegro

No information available

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COM:TOO Netherlands

Netherlands

Simple logos are okay in the Netherlands but not all logos are. Whether something is above the threshold of originality in the Netherlands is defined in the Supreme Court judgment "'Van Dale/Romme'". In this judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that:[42]

  • In assessing the ground of cassation it should be noted that, for a product to be considered a work of literature, science or art as meant in article 1 in conjunction with article 10 of the Copyright law (Auteurswet), it is required that it has an own, original character and bears the personal mark of the maker.

This was further specified in the Supreme Court judgment ''Endstra-tapes':[43]

  • The product has to bear an own, original character. In short, this means the shape may not be based on that of another work. (cf. article 13 Aw.) The demand that the product has to bear the personal mark of the maker means that there has to be a shape that is the result of creative human labor and thus creative choices, which therefore is a product of the human mind. In any case, excluded from this is everything that has a shape that is so trivial or banal, that one cannot show any creative labor behind it of any kind whatsoever.

Later the Supreme Court determined in judgment on Stokke v. Fikszo that:[44]

  • For a work to be eligible for copyright, it is necessary that the work has an own original character and bears the personal mark of the maker ... The Court of Justice of the European Union has has formulated the benchmark in such a way that it must concern "an intellectual creation of the author of the work".

Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Северна Македонија

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COM:TOO Norway

Norway

Not protected

Two-minute theatre play.[45]

Protected
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COM:TOO Poland

Poland

Per Tomasz Targosz (Institute of Intellectual Property Law, Jagiellonian University Kraków):

Polish copyright law has quite a long tradition of setting the threshold rather low, which may encourage frivolous lawsuits forcing courts to ponder whether simple graphic designs, short lines of text or even names should or should not be protected by copyright law.

[47]

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COM:TOO Portugal

Portugal

w:File:Juventude Socialista Portugal.png was deleted as it was considered to be above the threshold of originality.

Photographs

In Portugal photographs have been consistently specifically required to have a significant degree of creativity in order to be copyrighted. Article §164 of the current 2017 copyright law states that "the choice of a photograph's subject and the conditions of its creation must be deemed to be a personal artistic creation by the author before a photograph may qualify for protection".

Court cases
  • Landscape photograph: Ruled as without originality. In 2009 the Tribunal da Relação de Lisboa ruled as void of copyright for lack of artistic creativity a landscape photograph the author was claiming copyright on due to his choice of the setting, light and other conditions. It was considered by the court "a vulgar photograph resultant from the mere choice of an object, such as a city council building and part of a group of trees, without a minimum of creativity".[48] The subject is discussed in a 2017 article published by the Instituto Portugues de Fotografia.[49]
  • Heart reproduction commissioned to a laboratory in order to be presented in an exposition: Ruled as without originality.[48]
  • Clothing/Fashion: Ruled as without originality.[50]
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COM:TOO Romania

Romania

No information available

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COM:TOO Russia

Russia

Automatic camera works

Public domain use {{PD-RU-exempt-autocam}}

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK A photowork or a videowork made by automatic camera (Russian: автоматическая камера, not to be confused with automated camera: автоматизированная камера) is not the subject of copyright, because such work is made by technical tool without creative human activity. The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, Part 80 of Session Resolution No. 10 of April 23, 2019 on Application of Part IV of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation

Examples

  • Any photowork or videowork made by automatic camera for administrative violation record (for example, by automatic camera for driving offense record[51]). The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, Part 80 of Session Resolution No. 10 of April 23, 2019 on Application of Part IV of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation
Simple creative works

OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK Simple result (consisted of simple geometric shapes and / or text) of creative work (creative human activity) is copyrightable. The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, Part 80 of Session Resolution No. 10 of April 23, 2019 on Application of Part IV of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation

Examples

  • Simple black square as geometric shape is uncopyrightable as itself. However Black Square by Kazimir Malevich is copyrightable because this painting is the result of creative work in recognized art style - suprematism, and it is in Public Domain because of copyright term expiry, not because of result simplicity.
Logos

Symbol neutral vote.svg In doubt There is no clear precedent in Russian courts for the threshold of originality for simple logos.

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COM:TOO San Marino

San Marino

No information available

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COM:TOO Serbia

Serbia

No information available

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COM:TOO Slovakia

Slovakia

No information available

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COM:TOO Slovenia

Slovenia

The threshold of originality in Slovenia depends on the field of creativity. If the maneuvering space of the possible creativity is narrower, it requires more creativity for a work to be copyrighted.[52]

In this regard, the following court cases are relevant:

Applied arts:

  • VSL0069492 - the design of a couch set has been found to be below the threshold.
  • VS0011606 - the design of a sales stand has been found to be above the threshold.

Architecture:

  • VSL00432 - only the works that constitute an original artwork are copyrighted; the renovation plan of Ljubljana Castle as well as the newly built and (at least some of) the renovated parts of the castle count as such.

Titles:

  • VS07924 - the title "Brez zavor" (meaning "Without inhibitions") has been found to be below the threshold.
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COM:TOO Spain

Spain

STS 4443/2004 notes that a work must have the characteristics of "uniqueness, individuality and distinguishability" to qualify for protection.[53]

STS 1644/2017 concerns architecture and states "The terms in which an architectural project is drawn up largely respond to the technical or functional requirements and compliance with urban regulations. When this is the case, the project or the architectural buildings are not protected by copyright in the part imposed by those technical, functional or normative requirements"; and more generally, "the factor of recognizability or differentiation of the work with respect to the pre-existing ones [is] essential to grant an exclusive right with moral and patrimonial aspects".[54]

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COM:TOO Sweden

Sweden

"A simple general rule is that if it is unlikely that two persons would create, for example, a text identically or similarly, the text is probably sufficiently original to qualify as a protected work. (..) Often, the requirements for copyright protection are considered to be relatively low."[55] From the court cases below it can be concluded that the threshold of originality in Sweden is significantly higher then the ditto in the United Kingdom even though it might be considered low compared to the one in the United States.

Status Example Notes
OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK
IXXI logo.jpg
The text itself can't be considered to fulfill the general threshold of originality considered for copyright protection. This same interpretation is made whether one sees it as Roman numerals or Latin letters. The logo itself does have some figurative design. The font must however, despite some inconsistancies along the edges, be considered as ordinary and the black rectangle in the background does not contribute to any distinctive character. - Patent- och registreringsverket (Swedish Intellectual Property Office) Invändningsärende nr 2017/00120/01, Registrering nr 540495
OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK
A6 logo.png
The logo consists of an a and a 6. The round part of each character is not closed, however the characters are, besides that, made in a fairly ordinary font without any distinctive character. Between the characters is a simple, sun-feather resembelling, figure with a pointy tip which goes down between the characters. Above this figure there are four points, two to the left and two to the right. The logo is way to simple to be granted such copyright protection which can constitute an impediment for others' trademark registration. - Patent- och registreringsverket (Swedish Intellectual Property Office) Invändningsärende nr 2005/0006/0001, Registrering nr 369154.

This ruling was appealed to Patentbesvärsrätten (Patent court of appeals) which settled the original ruling (Mål nr 06-304, vm.reg. 369.154), albeit with one member of the court with a dissenting opinion. Unfortunately, they did not elaborate as to why they settled the original ruling.

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK
Upphovsrätt på teknisk ritning.png
Technical drawing. According to decision by the Swedish Supreme Court.NJA 2004 s. 149
OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK https://shop.textalk.se/shop/4541/files/entombed/ENT_logo_web.png The logo has been created using a Gothic font in a way which is frequently used among bands in the genre in question [death metal]. The logotype can thus not be considered to fulfill the demands of originality and distinctive character needed for copyright protection. - Patent- och registreringsverket (Swedish Intellectual Property Office) Invändningsärende 2013/0133/0001, Registrering nr 514059.

According to the court, after a comprehensive assessment, the wordmark shows such level of indivudual, distinctive character that it must be considered to possess copyright protection. The court especially values the font of choice, the individual design of the first and last letter and the fact that the first and last letter has been written in caps. - Patent- och marknadsdomstolen (Patent and Market Court) PMÄ 10796-16

This ruling was appealed to Patent- och marknadsöverdomstolen (Patent and Market Court of Appeals) which settled the previous ruling (Mål nr PMÖÄ 5441-17). Unfortunately, they did not elaborate as to why they settled the previous ruling.

OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK A black-and-white version of fr:File:Dunderklumpen Logo.png Ruled above the TOO by Patent- och registreringsverket (Swedish Intellectual Property Office) (Varumärkesansökan nr 2014/00870), another part of the same ruling was appealed to the Patent- och marknadsdomstolen (Patent and Market Court) which settled the original ruling (Mål nr PMÄ 10748-16). Neither instance elaborated further as why the logo was ruled above the TOO but one can speculate that it was because it was a very obvious case.
OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK Michelin man lamp Ruled above the TOO by Patent- och registreringsverket (Swedish Intellectual Property Office) (Varumärkesansökan nr 2015/03538). The office did not elaborate further as why the logo was ruled above the TOO but one can speculate that it was because it was a very obvious case.
OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK
4xcolor mini maglite 20050614.jpg
Mini Maglite torch (Mål: T 1421-07, Högsta domstolen)
OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK Porcelain [1] "Sundborn", made by Rörstrand
OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK Photo illustrating a newspaper article RH 2009:18 (removed from the website in 2004 because of copyright infringement, protected as a photographic work for 70 years after author's death)
OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK Knitted tunic (NJA 1995 s. 164)
OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK Technical drawings (NJA 1998 s. 563)
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COM:TOO Switzerland

Switzerland

Swiss copyright law defines works as "literary and artistic intellectual creations with individual character, irrespective of their value or purpose".[56] Such works are protected by copyright: "Up to 70 years after the death of the author (50 years for computer programs); 50 years from the taking of a photograph without individual character; 70 years from the performance/publication of a phonogram or audio-visual fixation; 50 years from the transmission of a broadcast."[57] This section discusses some types of subject matter.

Photographs: Photographs may be protected as works on the basis of their individual character (individual photographs). Some photographs that lack individual character may also enjoy protection (non-individual photographs).

  • Individual photographs: The individual character may manifest itself in a variety of ways, such as the choice of the depicted object, the decision on when the picture is taken, or the editing work done after the picture has been taken.[58] In a 2003 decision, the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland held that a photo of Bob Marley taken at a concert by a spectator with a handheld camera was eligible for protection as a photographic work because it had the required individual character by virtue of the aesthetic appeal of the picture, combined with the orientation of the picture's components and the distribution of light and shadow. It also found that the photograph was a "creation of the mind" by being shot at a specific time during the singer's movement on the stage.[59] By contrast, in the 2004 case Blau Guggenheim v. British Broadcasting Corporation, the Court found that a photo (en:File:Christoph Meili 1997-nonfree.jpg), shot by a reporter to document Christoph Meili with the files he had taken from his employer, lacked individual character. It found that the scope of conceptual and technical possibilities was not exploited, and that the photograph did not distinguish itself in any way from what was common use.[60] The copyright in an individual photograph lasts for 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author died.[61]
  • Non-individual photographs: Effective 1 April 2020, Swiss law also protects certain non-individual photographs. Article 2(3bis) URG provides that "photographic depictions and depictions of three-dimensional objects produced by a process similar to that of photography are considered works, even if they do not have individual character". While no individuality is required, according to the official motives accompanying the (eventually adopted) revision draft, these photographs are still required to be "based on human actions", and thus "automatically created photographs such as radar pictures, pictures from surveillance cameras or camera traps" are ineligible for protection.[62] It should be noted that the new right also applies to photographs created before 1 April 2020 that had previously not been protected for failing the individuality test; however, if a particular use of a non-individual photograph was "begun prior to the commencement" of the new law, it "may be completed".[63] According to the official motives, this has the effect that "if non-individual photographs are used on a web page, the web page may be maintained after the entry into force of the protection of non-individual photographs. If, on the other hand, such photographs are included into an existing or a new web page after the entry into force of this protection, permission is required from the owner of the rights in the non-individual photographs."[64] The copyright in a non-individual photograph lasts for 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the photo was taken.[65]
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COM:TOO Turkey

Turkey

Might be OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK

The Turkish copyright laws depend on that the work bears the characteristics of creator while deciding whether the work is original, and considered on a case-by-case basis.[66]

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COM:TOO Ukraine

Ukraine

No information available

OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK for Lego bricks (see w:Interlego v Tyco Industries).

OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK for most logos. The level of originality required for copyright protection in the United Kingdom is very low.

In determining whether a work is protected, typographical copyright, publication rights and database rights need to be considered.

These images are eligible for copyright protection:

"[The defendants] submitted that the claimant can have no copyright in its EDGE logo because it is not original over the Franklin Gothic typeface. I do not accept this submission. The stretching of the font was combined with the distinctive slash and projection on the middle bar of the "E". What is required for artistic originality is the expenditure of more than negligible or trivial effort or relevant skill in the creation of the work: see Copinger and Skone James on Copyright 16th Ed at 3-130 and Ladbroke v. William Hill [1964] 1 WLR 273 at 287. The claimant's logo is original within this test."

— Mrs Justice Proudman, in: Future Publishing Ltd v The Edge Interactive Media Inc & Ors [2011] EWHC 1489 (Ch) at [10][68]

Digital copies of images[edit]

In 2014 (updated 2015) the UK's Intellectual Property Office issued an advice notice, which said, in part:[69]


"... according to established case law, the courts have said that copyright can only subsist in subject matter that is original in the sense that it is the author's own 'intellectual creation'. Given this criterion, it seems unlikely that what is merely a retouched, digitised image of an older work can be considered as 'original'. This is because there will generally be minimal scope for a creator to exercise free and creative choices if their aim is simply to make a faithful reproduction of an existing work."

Under section 6 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, this decision remains generally binding on UK courts.

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COM:TOO Vatican City

Vatican City

No information available

Specific status[edit]

No information available

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COM:TOO Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands

No information available

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COM:TOO Gibraltar

Gibraltar

No information available

No information available

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COM:TOO Isle of Man

Isle of Man

No information available

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COM:TOO Jersey

Jersey

No information available

Limited recognition[edit]

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COM:TOO Abkhazia

Abkhazia

No information available

No information available

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COM:TOO Kosovo

Kosovo

No information available

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COM:TOO South Ossetia

South Ossetia

No information available

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COM:TOO Transnistria

Transnistria

No information available

No information available

No information available

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  1. Bauer logo.
  2. Oberster Gerichtshof statement.
  3. Zimmermann Fitness logo.
  4. Oberster Gerichtshof statement.
  5. V-74-01 Jydsk Vindueskompagni mod Bering Byg (pdf). Retrieved on 17 April 2020.
  6. 3 February 2004 (V 98/01))
  7. Sø- og Handelsretten (The Maritime and Commercial Court) in March 1998, U 1998:946 S and NIR 69:3, p. 413-418 [2000]
  8. Violation of the copyright of the Global Knife Series. Supreme Court (19-09-2011). Retrieved on 2019-03-24. "Det var for Højesteret ubestridt, at Global-knivene er ophavsretligt beskyttet i medfør af ophavsretslovens § 1. Højesteret udtalte, at Global-knivene som brugskunst er beskyttet mod meget nærgående efterligninger. Højesteret fandt, at Royal-knivenes design ikke indebar en tilstrækkelig frigørelse fra det særegne ved Global-knivenes udformning, men måtte anses som en meget nærgående efterligning. (It was undisputed to the Supreme Court that the Global blades are protected by copyright under section 1 of the Copyright Act. The Supreme Court stated that the Global blades as a utility art are protected from very close imitations. The Supreme Court found that the design of the Royal blades did not sufficiently differ from the distinctive nature of the design of the Global blades, and had to be regarded as a very close imitation.)"
  9. Infringement of the Copyright Act Case 306/2009. Supreme Court (28-06-2011). Retrieved on 2019-03-24.
  10. a b TN 2011:7
  11. TN 2014:13
  12. TN 2001:12
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  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Pavis
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  16. Bundesgerichtshof 12 May 2011, case I ZR 53/10 Seilzirkus, (2012) 114 GRUR 58 [17].
  17. See, in particular, Bundesgerichtshof 27 November 1956, case I ZR 57/55 Morgenpost, 22 BGHZ 209, 215ff; Bundesgerichtshof 22 June 1995, case I ZR 119/93 Silberdistel, (1995) 97 GRUR 581, 582. See further A Ohly, "Where is the Birthday Train Heading? The Copyright-Design Interface in German Law" in G Karnell and others (eds), Liber Amicorum Jan Rosén (eddy.se ab 2016) 593ff.
  18. Bundesgerichtshof 13 November 2013, case I ZR 143/12 Geburtstagszug, 199 BGHZ 52 [26].
  19. Bundesgerichtshof 13 November 2013, case I ZR 143/12 Geburtstagszug, 199 BGHZ 52 [41].
  20. Bundesgerichtshof 12 May 2011, case I ZR 53/10 Seilzirkus, (2012) 114 GRUR 58 [19].
  21. Bundesgerichtshof 12 May 2011, case I ZR 53/10 Seilzirkus, (2012) 114 GRUR 58 [20].
  22. Bundesgerichtshof 12 May 2011, case I ZR 53/10 Seilzirkus, (2012) 114 GRUR 58 [20].
  23. Appeals court level or higher. Omitted here are cases where copyright protection was denied based on the now-abandoned "two-tier theory".
  24. Bundesgerichtshof 12 May 2011, case I ZR 53/10 Seilzirkus, (2012) 114 GRUR 58 [30].
  25. Oberlandesgericht Schleswig 11 September 2014, case 6 U 74/10 Geburtstagszug II, (2015) 15 GRUR-RR 1 [17]–[23].
  26. Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt am Main 12 June 2019, case 11 U 51/18, (2019) 63 ZUM 787, 788f.
  27. Bundesgerichtshof 27 April 2017, case I ZR 247/15 AIDA Kussmund, (2017) 119 GRUR 798 [11].
  28. Oberlandesgericht Schleswig 11 September 2014, case 6 U 74/10 Geburtstagszug II, (2015) 15 GRUR-RR 1 [29]–[31]. Finding of copyright protection not challenged on appeal: Bundesgerichtshof 16 June 2016, case I ZR 122/14 Geburtstagskarawane, (2016) 118 GRUR 1291.
  29. Oberlandesgericht Köln 20 February 2015, case 6 U 131/14 Airbrush-Urnen, (2015) 15 GRUR-RR 275 [14]–[16].
  30. Oberlandesgericht Nürnberg 20 May 2014, case 3 U 1874/13 Kicker-Stecktabelle, (2014) 116 GRUR 1199, 1201.
  31. S Zentek, "Acht Jahrzehnte verkanntes Design im deutschen Urheberrecht: Die Geschichte des Schutzes von Gebrauchsgestaltungen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Nationalsozialismus" (doctoral thesis, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf 2015) 276. See also L Mezger, Die Schutzschwelle für Werke der angewandten Kunst nach deutschem und europäischem Recht (V&R unipress 2017) 60f ("hardly possible" in particular to keep track of the jurisprudence on designer furniture).
  32. Oberlandesgericht Hamburg 27 April 2011, case 5 U 26/09; affirmed in pertinent part on appeal: Bundesgerichtshof 5 November 2015, case I ZR 91/11 Marcel-Breuer­-Möbel II, (2016) 69 NJW 2335 [26]–[28].
  33. Oberlandesgericht Hamburg 30 March 2011, case 5 U 207/08; affirmed in pertinent part on appeal: Bundesgerichtshof 5 November 2015, case I ZR 76/11 Wagenfeld-Leuchte II, (2016) 69 NJW 2338 [20]–[22].
  34. Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf 30 May 2000, case 20 U 4/99 Spannring, (2001) 1 GRUR-RR 294, 296.
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  37. Logó szerzői jogi védelme Ügyszám: SZJSZT – 17/12 (in Hungarian). Copyright Expert Panel (20 February 2013). Retrieved on 2019-03-26.
  38. SZJSZT 1/2005
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  40. Logo on external site DR
  41. Jean-Luc PUTZ. das luxemburgische Urheberrecht: eine Einführung (in German). Retrieved on 2019-01-29.
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  43. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Endstra-tapes
  44. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Stokke-Fikszo
  45. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Høyesteretts2007
  46. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named JuliBlåfjelllogo
  47. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Kluwer
  48. a b Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named TRL0TJLSB-8
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  53. https://www.poderjudicial.es/search/TS/openDocument/d42c9049784c7c02/20040821 p. 4
  54. https://www.poderjudicial.es/search/TS/openDocument/a95395d6789f5037/20170509 p. 9
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  56. Federal Act on Copyright and Related Rights, art 2(1). SR 231.1 Bundesgesetz über das Urheberrecht und verwandte Schutzrechte. Government of Switzerland. Retrieved on 12 September 2020.
  57. Envisioned. Created. Protected. – A Concise Guide to Trade Marks, Patents & Co.. Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (April 2020). Retrieved on 22 August 2021.
  58. Cf BGE 130 III 168, 173 – Bob Marley.
  59. X. gegen Y. AG, decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court of September 5, 2003; BGE 130 III 168.
  60. Blau Guggenheim gegen British Broadcasting Corporation BBC, decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court of April 19, 2004; BGE 130 III 714.
  61. Art 29(2) lit b URG.
  62. Bundesrat, "Botschaft zur Änderung des Urheberrechtsgesetzes sowie zur Genehmigung zweier Abkommen der Weltorganisation für geistiges Eigentum und zu deren Umsetzung", BBl 2018 591, 620. See also W Egloff in D Barrelet and W Egloff (eds), Das neue Urheberrecht (4th edn, Stämpfli 2020) art 2 para 35.
  63. Art 80(2) URG. W Egloff in D Barrelet and W Egloff (eds), Das neue Urheberrecht (4th edn, Stämpfli 2020) art 2 para 38; P Mosimann and Y Hostettler, "Zur Revision des Urheberrechtsgesetzes" (2018) 36 recht 123, 126; Bundesrat, "Botschaft zur Änderung des Urheberrechtsgesetzes sowie zur Genehmigung zweier Abkommen der Weltorganisation für geistiges Eigentum und zu deren Umsetzung", BBl 2018 591, 620 («In Verbindung mit Artikel 80 Absatz 1 URG führt die Erweiterung des Schutzumfangs auf Fotografien ohne individuellen Charakter dazu, dass der Urheberrechtsschutz solche Fotografien auch dann erfassen wird, wenn sie vor seinem Inkrafttreten dieser Teilrevision geschaffen wurden.»).
  64. Bundesrat, "Botschaft zur Änderung des Urheberrechtsgesetzes sowie zur Genehmigung zweier Abkommen der Weltorganisation für geistiges Eigentum und zu deren Umsetzung", BBl 2018 591, 621.
  65. Art 29(2) lit abis, 29(4) URG.
  66. ECONOMIC AND MORAL RIGHTS IN TURKISH AND EUROPEAN UNION COPYRIGHT LAW (2009).
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