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26 November 2004 – LAWFUEL – Legal, law, law firm news – International…

26 November 2004 – LAWFUEL – Legal, law, law firm news – International legal practice Allen & Overy won an award last night for its work on the ‘Harry Potter & Tanya Grotter’ case. The award was for ‘Best European Copyright Litigation’ at the inaugural Worldleader Informa Publishing European IP Awards held at The Radisson Hotel in London.

Allen & Overy successfully advised JK Rowling and Warner Bros. in relation
to the decisions by both the District Court and the Appeal Court in
Amsterdam, ruling that Russian writer Dmitry Yemets’ book, ‘Tanya
Grotter’, is a clear copyright infringement of JK Rowling’s works. The
ruling affirms the uniqueness of the literary works of Harry Potter.
As a result of an action brought by JK Rowling, Warner Bros and De
Harmonie, (the publishers of Harry Potter in the Netherlands), the Dutch
court said that publication of the translation of ‘Tanya Grotter’ would
constitute a clear infringement of both the copyright of JK Rowling and
the trademark rights of Warner Bros. The Court further stated that ‘Tanya
Grotter’ could not be considered a parody.

The Court ordered that the Dutch publisher of ‘Tanya Grotter’ should
refrain from any publication of the book. In addition, the Court ordered
that the publisher should refrain from any infringement of the Harry
Potter trademarks.

The Allen & Overy team in Amsterdam won this award for its work on the
landmark case. Never before has a litigant in Western Europe stopped
publication of an unpublished book on the ground of copyright
infringement, which reflects the nature of this achievement. The case
established some much commented on and much needed precedents in the
application of copyright law throughout Europe and also had considerable
commercial implications. It significantly raised the profile and
understanding of IP issues in the eyes of the global media and the public
worldwide.

Last night at the awards ceremony in London, Eric Keyzer, IP Partner in
Amsterdam, who led the team on this winning case said: “We are delighted
that the team has received this award and naturally we are pleased that we
helped Harry maintain his integrity – he was not quite ready for a Russian
sister!”
Geert Glas, Head of IP Global, was also at the awards ceremony and
commented: “The value of an award of this type can be measured in terms of
added respect for the work of the intellectual property lawyers at Allen &
Overy LLP”.

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.