Gilbert + Tobin successfully represented the Nine Network in its recent Full Federal Court appeal against electronic program guide publisher IceTV.
The Nine Network first took action against IceTvV in 2007 for copyright infringement of their television program guide. IceTV argued that it predicted program schedules without copying them, a claim that was strongly contested in the litigation.
Last week, Justices Black, Lindgren and Sackville unanimously overturned the trial judge’s decision and found that IceTV’s “Iceguide” did infringe the Nine Network’s weekly guide.
The case attracted considerable attention because the ruling would set a precedent for how far businesses can protect aggregated factual content held in databases, on the internet and elsewhere, from parties seeking to regenerate that information for other commercial purposes.
“The case was a critical test of the limits of copyright in data compilations and one of the few to have run through to trial,” said G&T partner Michael Williams. “Australia has a high level of legal protection of compilations under copyright, but the scope of such protections for factual information is still an issue,” he said.
Working on the case with Williams was G&T partner Kate Harrison and lawyers Michael Cooley and Cameron Andrews.