Carey Olsen lawyer Elaine Gray, of counsel, recently spoke at the Intellectual Property Lawyers’ Organisation (TIPLO) dinner at the House of Lords.
Advocate Gray was part of a panel which also included Michael Bloch QC, who chaired the discussion, Clive Thorne, TIPLO chairman and partner at RPC, and Christine O’Neill, chairman and partner at Brodies LLP.
Among the guests were Martin Howe QC, one of the lawyers who acted for Rihanna in Fenty v Arcadia when the pop singer made a successful claim against Topshop for using her image without her consent, and Patents Court judge, Sir Richard Arnold.
Advocate Gray said: “Being part of this prestigious panel demonstrates that the UK is taking notice of Guernsey’s ground-breaking intellectual property work. Carey Olsen is leading the market in this rapidly-evolving area.
“With cases like Fenty v Arcadia making headlines across the country, and indeed the rest of the world, there is an increased interest in the way that celebrities protect their images. This interest heralds opportunities for Guernsey thanks to our unique image rights legislation.
“This was a great opportunity to impress upon lawyers with an impressive client base what Guernsey and Carey Olsen offer in terms of the expert knowledge required to compete in a market where high profile reputations are at stake.”
The first session of the debate was entitled ‘Image Rights – a case for registration’. The discussion focussed on whether the UK should follow Guernsey in introducing registration of image rights or whether trade mark and passing off rights were enough protection. Participants also questioned whether the balance of power had swung too far in favour of celebrities following Fenty v Arcadia.
The issue of IP considerations in the Scottish Independence debate was then discussed. The delegates considered whether Scotland needed its own Intellectual Property Office, whether there would be an opportunity for Scottish-specific IP protection and what effect independence would have upon existing UK and EU wide intellectual property.