7 Harrington Street Chambers


Plagiarism, Trademark infringement and Copyright violation

Musical plagiarism, trademark infringement and the removal of fat photos!

Ed Sheeran, Matt Cardle, and the blurred lines of musical plagiarism

What makes a song original? It’s a question that has preoccupied music fans, artists and copyright experts alike in the past year. The controversial, landmark “Blurred Lines” case, in which Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were ordered to pay £5.3m after their 2013 summer hit was found to be too similar to Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song “Got To Give It Up”, has seen a landslide of artists claiming that the biggest singles of the moment have plagiarised key elements of their songs.

This week, the news of a new lawsuit has hit headlines, this time over music by Ed Sheeran and X Factor winner Matt Cardle: the ultimate battle of white male mediocrity. California songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard claim that Sheeran’s 2014 song “Photograph” is a “note-for-note” copy of a song they wrote for Cardle released back in 2010 called “Amazing”. Notably, the songwriters are being defended by Richard Busch, the very same lawyer who won the copyright infringement case against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams.

Read more

Citigroup sues AT&T for trademark infringement

Citigroup Inc are suing AT&T Inc, saying the phone company's use of "thanks" and "AT&T thanks" in a new customer loyalty program infringe its trademark rights to the phrase "thankyou."

The lawsuit may threaten the business relationship between two of the largest U.S. companies, which Citigroup said dates to at least 1998 when they launched the AT&T Universal Card.

In its complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Citigroup said it has since 2004 used "thankyou" extensively in promoting its own customer loyalty and reward programs, including credit cards co-branded with AT&T.

But the New York-based bank, the nation's fourth-largest by assets, said the "AT&T thanks" program launched on June 2 will likely confuse consumers, and irreparably damaged its goodwill and reputation associated with the "thankyou" trademarks it uses for various banking services.

Read more

Axl Rose demands Google remove 'fat' photos

Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose has long battled the trappings of internet-era celebrity. When his band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, the singer wrote a 1,000--word open letter refusing his own part in the induction and imploring the organization not to include him in absentia. The hall of fame politely yet swiftly declined his request.
Undeterred, Rose is now taking on the definitive hall of fame – waging war against Skynet itself, no less – by demanding that Google removes the now infamous photos of his sweaty, rounder-than-usual face from a 2010 concert now associated with the “fat Axl Rose” meme from their search engines.

The Guns N’ Roses frontman is now trying to get Google to remove images that he says violate copyright – and they just happen to be a little unflattering.

His argument – bolstered by web privacy firm Web Sheriff, is that the images, taken by Canadian photographer Boris Minkevich and originally published in the Winnipeg Free Press, are actually Rose’s own property. Rose claims all photographers were required to sign a release form upon entering the concert; this may be the general rule at GNR shows, but Minkevich has said he doesn’t recall whether he did or did not sign one.

Google declined to comment on the case.

Read more

More news


With 48 Barristers operating across 6 specialist groups offering a fast, efficient advisory service

More about Civil Law


67 Barristers specialising in Criminal Law offering expert advocacy at all times

More about Criminal Law


From leading Queen's Counsel to experienced and flexible juniors covering every aspect of family law

More about Family Law