What happens when Intellectual Property (IP) Law and Information Technology (IT) Law meet head on? A perfect ideological storm where differing legal experts battle for, or against, IP rights in the digital environment. As we mark World Intellectual Property Day (April 26), two recent developments that illustrate this tension might serve South Africans well, if observed with care. First, the recent ruling of the General Court of the EU in Constantin Film Produktion GmbH v EU Intellectual Property Office made it clear that aural vulgarity could be a bar to the registration of a trade mark. In this matter, the court held that the title of the German language film Fack Ju Göhte (the English title of the film is reported as Suck Me Shakespeer) may not be registered because it is considered offensive to the famous 19th century writer and lawyer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The court was not persuaded by the contention that the intentional misspelling is a satirical expression in "teenage l...

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