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Benjamin Beck is a research assistant in the Intellectual Property practice group of the Frankfurt office.

In addition to his activities at Mayer Brown, Benjamin is about to complete his doctorate with Prof. Dr. Alexander Peukert at the University of Frankfurt with a doctoral thesis in patent law. Before joining Mayer Brown, Benjamin also worked in the Arbitration practice group of another international law firm in Frankfurt. Other than his mother language German, he speaks English and French.

Publications

Annotation to Administrative Court of Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Judgment of 31 October 2016 -- 1 K 2903/15.F, in: Kommunikation & Recht (K&R), 2017, No. 2, p. 142-144, with Dr. Dominik König

IP scenarios in a Brexit world, in: World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR), 18.07.2016, with Dr. Ulrich Worm

Судебная практика в Германии / Court practice in Germany, in: Интеллектуальная собственность Казахстана (Intellectual property of Kazakhstan), 2016, No. 1, p. 13-16, with Ana Elisa Bruder and Konstantin von Werder

Oktoberfest for the UPC?, in: World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR), 24.03.2016, with Dr. Ulrich Worm

Die immaterialgüterrechtliche Schutzfähigkeit von „Affen-Selfies“, in: Zeitschrift für Urheber- und Medienrecht (ZUM), Vol. 60 (2016), No. 1, p. 34-38, with Dominik König

Bitcoins als Gegenstand von sekundären Leistungspflichten. Erfassung dem Grunde und der Höhe nach, in: Archiv für die civilistische Praxis (AcP), Vol. 215 (2015), No. 5, p. 655-682, with Dominik König

Annotation to CJEU, Judgment of 22 October 2015 -- C‑264/14 -- David Hedqvist, in: Umsatzsteuer-Rundschau (UR), 2015, No. 22, p. 864-871, with Dominik König

Court considers likelihood of confusion between word marks using same letters in different order, in: World Trademark Review Daily, 25.09.2015, with Konstantin von Werder

Do Bitcoins Fulfil the Classic Economic Functions of Money? An Analysis and its Legal Implications, published online on lichter-filmfest.de on 09.03.2015

Bitcoins als Geld im Rechtssinne, in: Neue Juristische Wochenschrift (NJW), Vol. 68 (2015), No. 9, p. 580-586

Bitcoin: Der Versuch einer vertragstypologischen Einordnung von kryptographischem Geld, in: JuristenZeitung (JZ), Vol. 70 (2015), No. 3, p. 130-138, with Dominik König

Klinische und rechtliche Aspekte einer Abstinenzkontrolle unter besonderer Berücksichtigung kontinuierlicher transdermaler Alkoholmessung, in: Blutalkohol – Alcohol, Drugs and Behavior (BA), Vol. 50 (2013), No. 4, p. 153-167

Elektronische Fußfessel – Fluch oder Segen der Kriminalpolitik?, in: Schriftenreihe der Stiftung der Hessischen Rechtsanwaltschaft, Vol. 2 (2011), p. 65-94

In April 2018, Amazon Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Amazon, was granted a patent relating to a “technology for a streaming data marketplace” by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The technology underlying the patent is described as gathering (online) data streams from various sources and enhancing those streams “by correlating the raw data with additional data.” The patent description lists a number of potential use cases for the streaming data feeds that participants in the market place are offering subscriptions to. One notable use case relates to “bitcoin transactions,” with the ultimate goal of identifying users of the virtual currency by their Bitcoin addresses. Continue Reading The Bitcoin Implications of Amazon’s New Streaming Data Patent

The future of the European Unified Patent Court (UPC) appears to look a bit clearer following recent ratification activities. On 16 January 2017, the Preparatory Committee for the UPC announced on its website that it is working under the assumption that the UPC can become operational in December 2017. However, the Committee stated that this timeline is conditional on a number of factors, with the most important being “the necessary ratifications of the [UPC Agreement] and accession to the Protocol on Provisional Application”. So far, twelve EU Member States have ratified the UPC Agreement, including France (14 March 2014) and Italy (10 February 2017). Continue Reading German Parliament Approves Ratification of the UPC Agreement

On 14 February 2017, the organization Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE) issued a press release that a number of leading cloud computing vendors operating in Europe have declared compliance with the CISPE Data Protection Code of Conduct (the “Code”) for some or all their services. All cloud infrastructure services compliant with the Code requirements are listed on the CISPE Public Register. The providers of these services can display a certification mark on their websites to notify their customers of their services’ compliance with the Code. Continue Reading European Cloud Industry Body Sets Up Data Protection Code of Conduct

The question of whether a sequence of exercises, such as yoga poses or dance moves, can be copyrighted has occupied the attention of international courts, scholars and copyright offices for some time. In late 2015, the issue received some media attention when yoga guru Bikram Choudhur tried to gain a US copyright in a signature sequence of yoga poses but failed before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Curcuit. Despite the effort of international copyright conventions, the question of copyrightability essentially remains a matter of national law. Continue Reading The Copyrightability of Yoga Poses, Dance Moves and Exercise Routines

According to the code of ethics of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, a culinary professional must not knowingly “appropriate […] any recipe or other intellectual property belonging to another without the proper recognition.” And, in addition to the ethical, there are legal issues. While copying culinary creations might not sound like a big deal to millennial food bloggers and vloggers, lawsuits—sometimes with high stakes—have been filed over (mis)appropriated recipes. But whether claims to a signature dish will hold up in court is a different question and will likely depend on the scope of protection of the applicable copyright law(s). Continue Reading Your IP Valentine: Can Recipes Be Protected by Copyright?

For many people, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year: decorating the house, wrapping presents and, last but not least, listening to cheesy Christmas songs, some of which are among the highest-earning songs of all time. When Santa Claus comes to town, however, he might bring some gift-wrapped intellectual property lawsuits with him. The European Patent Office, for example, records many patents that mention Christmas in their title. Most of these patents relate to Christmas trees or their decoration. But patents are not the only kind of intellectual property right that could cool your Christmas cheer. Continue Reading A Very Intellectual Property Christmas

On 28 November 2016, the UK government issued a press release that, despite the UK’s leave from the EU, commonly known as “Brexit,” it still plans to ratify the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (“UPC Agreement”) over the coming months. The UPC Agreement was signed by 24 out of 25 EU Member States that participate in the enhanced cooperation procedure to create a unitary patent system in the EU, including the UK. Continue Reading UK Government Signals Preparations to Ratify the UPC Agreement Despite Brexit

On 15 November 2016, the US Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or the “Commission”) issued an “Enforcement Policy Statement” (“Policy Statement”) to provide guidance about its enforcement policy on marketing claims for over-the-counter (“OTC”) homeopathic remedies. The FTC concluded that marketing claims that OTC homeopathic products have a therapeutic effect (beyond placebo) lack a scientific basis. Consumers were therefore likely to be deceived by labels that do not disclose the lack of “adequately substantiated evidence” that ‎those products have the claimed treatment effects. Continue Reading US Federal Trade Commission Wants Marketers of Homeopathic Remedies to Disclose Lack of Scientific Evidence

On 10 November 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that a trademark on the shape of the Rubik’s Cube—supposedly the world’s bestselling toy of all time—is invalid (Case C‑30/15 P). With its judgment, the Court, inter alia, annulled a 2009 decision of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) that initially confirmed registration of the cube as an EU trademark.

The Rubik’s Cube was invented in 1974 by Hungarian architect Ernő Rubik. It was originally named “Magic Cube.” In 1980, the toy was renamed Rubik’s Cube and launched internationally. Continue Reading Court of Justice of the EU: The Shape of the Rubik’s Cube Cannot Be Trademarked

According to press reports, German car giant Volkswagen has banned its employees from using the wildly popular smartphone app Pokémon GO during work hours. Reportedly, the company cited impaired attention and distraction from work as the primary grounds for the prohibition, but data security and privacy issues are supposedly involved as well. Volkswagen has not yet made an official statement on the ban.

This app in particular and augmented reality in general pose many legal questions, especially, in the field of privacy law. The most pressing privacy issue with Pokémon GO seems to be the constant tracking of geolocation data. By agreeing to the Pokémon GO Privacy Policy, the user allows Niantic, the company behind the app, to track the user’s “device location […] and some of that location information, along with [the] user name” any time he or she uses the app. Continue Reading ‘Pokémon GO’ and Privacy Issues