Back in February 2011, Judge Stumer of the Petach Tikveh District Court ruled that the implementation of an idea to collect DNA of dogs to enable prosecution of their owners who have fallen foul of the law by their pets fouling pavements (sidewalks) was copyright infringement. My original posting on the decision, together with an analysis of what was wrong with it, may be found here.
Judge Noam Solberg has no issue with the factual finding of the District Court that the idea originated with Zisso, the original plaintiff and defendant on appeal, but on a matter of Law confirms that implementation of an idea is not copyright infringement. the implementation of the idea, if protectable at all, might be protectable by a patent if considered novel, inventive and useful, but as Zisso didn’t file a patent application, the issue is moot and the idea is now in the public domain. Attempting to claim that there is unjust enrichment or an assumed contract is an illegitimate attempt to widen the charges on appeal. Similarly, attempts to claim infringement of the original PowerPoint presentation by the Petach Tikveh Municipality using a similar presentation is widening the original claim.
Judges Naor and Jubran concurred with Solberg. The Petach Tikveh Municipility was awarded NIS 25000 in legal costs.
The Case: Civil Appeal 2682/11 Petach Tikveh municipality vs. Harry? Hairy? Hurry? Zisso
Readers will be pleased to learn that the Israel Supreme Court has reversed what may be the worst IP related decision that an Israel Court has ever issued.
Neil Wilcoff has recently been blogging about various courts getting patent law wrong. It seems that Judge Stumer isn’t the only Judge to make an embarrassing mistake. Nevertheless, one wonders if there isn’t a case to be made for specialist IP courts?