IP News brought Into Focus
Issue 2, Volume 2
PROPAGANDA SLOGANS ARE NOT PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT
On March 25, 2015, the First Reserved Panel of Business Rights of the Court of Appeals of the State of São Paulo ruled an appeal filed by Cia. Brasileira de Distribuição (CBD) and P.A. Publicidade Ltda. against the trial court’s decision which reject their pleading in a lawsuit they brought against Magazine Luiza S/A. In the said lawsuit, CBD and P.A. Publicidade requested that Magazine Luiza should be compelled to cease use of the slogan “come to be happy” and of the phrase “what is happiness to you?” the latter to name a prize contest available for their clients. CBD and the advertising agency alleged that they have prior rights over the slogans “place of happy people” and “what makes you happy” and requested a ruling against Magazine Luiza due to copyright infringement and unfair competition practice. The Court of Appeals of São Paulo rejected the appeal and sustained the trial court’s ruling. In its decision, the Court of Appeals stressed that there was no protection of the appellants’ slogans through trademark registration (according to prohibition contained in the Industrial Property Law – Law no. 9,279/96); neither by means of copyright, in this latter case, because the slogans lack aesthetic value and originality. It concluded that the similarity between the phrases were due to their common theme – association of consumption and happiness – and format; and that CDB and P.A. Publicidade Ltda. have no exclusivity whatsoever over them (AC nº 0101506-04.2009.8.26.0002).