Intellectual Property Rights Get More Complex — Again

Source: EconLog
by Walter Donway

“On February 9, the Wall Street Journal reported a ‘victory’ for intellectual Property (IP) rights, with the subhead: “Case Seen as test of how a company can exercise its IP rights against virtual assets.’ Okay, we kind of get that: This is about assets that exist in cyberspace. The French luxury brand, Hermes International SA, had gone to federal court in Manhattan to sue an ‘entrepreneur and artist,’ Mason Rothschild, and won modest damages ($133,000) — but ‘the legal principle was large.’ The court upheld Hermes right to the ‘Birkin’ trademark in cyberspace. … The concept of IP has been repeatedly expanded and redefined. Readers once read stories about ‘property rights’ in the airwaves, including rights to specific frequencies. … The same confusion could engulf cyberspace.” (03/13/23)