Three Little Birds: Incidence of copyrights on trademark law.

Three Little Birds

The case at hand illustrates the incidence which copyrights may have on the registration of trademarks.

In opposition to the registration of the trademark THREE LITTLE BIRDS JUST BE PRESENT (+Graphic), our client FIFTY-SIX HOPE ROAD MUSIC LTD., argued and suggested the imminent infringement of Bob Marley´s copyrights over the famous song Three Little Birds. In fact, the nominative set requested “THREE LITTLE BIRDS” directly evokes the title of Marley’s masterpiece, ignoring the copyright protection that the song title holds.

Additionally, a highlight was made regarding the fact that, commonly, artists use the titles and song lyrics as merchandise elements (for example, on t-shirts or attire products) with which they exploit the economic rights that derives from their copyrights of their songs. Hence, the requested trademark THREE LITTLE BIRDS JUST BE PRESENT (+Graphic), which pretends to identify International Class 25 products, particularly attire (among others), shows an evident affinity regarding the products that the artist or the right-holder pretend to identify or market through the use of elements of their artworks.

Consequently, having found that the requested trademark THREE LITTLE BIRDS JUST BE PRESENT (+Graphic), is identical to the artwork Three Little Birds composed by Bob Marley, the Trademarks director, although having overruled the opposition, resolved according to the arguments raised by our client in the sense of denying the registration of the requested trademark in order to protect Bob Marley´s copyrights.

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