16 February 2007

Reciprocal Protection: New Statutory Instruments

Three new Orders in Council were made on 14 Feb 2007 adding to the list of countries for whose citizens and residents copyright and performers' right protection is extended and updating the list of "convention countries" for the purposes of the Patents Act 1977 and Registered Designs Act 1949.

The Copyright and Performances (Application to Other Countries) Order 2007(SI 2007 No 273) revokes The Copyright and Performances (Application to Other Countries) Order 2006 with effect from 6 Apr 2007. The only material difference between this order and the previous one appears to be that copyright protection now extends to nationals and residents of Samoa which is very interesting given that the Supreme Court of Western Samoa held that there was no such thing as copyright in that country in Fauolo v Gray [1997] WSSC 1; CP 364 1995 as recently as 5 Aug 1997 (see also my case note on that decision which I published nearly 9 years ago). Clearly the Samoan legislature acted promptly on the recommendation of the Chief Justice for a very modern Copyright Act was enacted a year later.

The Patents (Convention Countries) Order 2009 (SI 2007 No 276) and The Designs (Convention Countries) Order 2007 (SI 2007 No 277) revoke the Patents (Convention Countries) Order 2006 and he Designs (Convention Countries) Order 2006 respectively. However, the only material changes appear to be that Yemen is added to the list and that Serbia and Montenegro are now recognized as separate countries.

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