An Italian-qualified lawyer (avvocato), I am Professor of Intellectual Property Law, the Director of the Institutet för Immaterialrätt och Marknadsrätt / Institute for Intellectual Property and Market Law (IFIM), and the Co-Director of the LLM in European Intellectual Property Law.
- Included in World Intellectual Property Review's 2020 list of 'Influential Women in IP'. The list is based on nominations from readers across the globe on who they regard as women in law who play a vital role in advancing the intellectual property industry and challenging the existing status quo.
- Included in Managing Intellectual Property's 2018 list of 'The 50 Most Influential People in IP' and considered “an influential voice in the IP industry". The list recognizes individuals who are shaping intellectual property law, policy and business throughout the world. It has typically included an array of in-house counsel, judges, officials and academics, as well as celebrities who have had a particularly big recent impact on intellectual property.
I hold law degrees from the University of Florence, an LLM from the University of Cambridge, and PhD from the European University Institute.
- European University Institute: PhD (thesis title: Originality in EU Copyright Law), 2009-2012
- University of Cambridge: LLM, 2008-2009
- University of Florence: 'Laurea Specialistica in Giurisprudenza’ Law Degree, 2006-2008
- University of Florence: 'Laurea in Scienze Giuridiche’ Law Degree, 2003-2006
- Visiting Professor at Universidade Católica Portuguesa (since 2021)
- Guest Professor at CEIPI-Université de Strasbourg (since 2019)
- Visiting Faculty (Legal Environment of Luxury Industries) at Glion Institute of Higher Education (since 2019)
- Research Associate and Lecturer at EDHEC Business School (since 2014)
- Associate of the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law at the University of Cambridge (since 2014)
Conferences and Seminars
Please see here for a list of the most recent conferences and seminars I have been a speaker at and here for the events that I have organized or co-organized.
- Of Counsel at Bird & Bird, Milan and London (since 2019)
- Co-Founder of Fashion Law London (since 2019)
- Editor of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, Oxford University Press (since 2015; previously Deputy Editor, 2013-2015)
- 'PermaKat' (permanent member of the team) at award-winning, specialist blog The IPKat (since 2012)
In the Media
Because of my copyright and IP expertise, I have been often interviewed by leading general interest media publications, including – recently – CNN, The New York Times, The Financial Times, BBC, The Hollywood Reporter, The Guardian.
- Co-Director of the LLM in European Intellectual Property Law (60 ECTS)
- Director of Copyright and Transborder Litigation (15 ECTS), a specialist module which is part of the LLM in European Intellectual Property Law
- Director of Fashion and Intellectual Property Law (3.5 ECTS)
- Co-Director of Advanced Intellectual Property Law (15 ECTS), a specialist module which is part of the LLM in European Intellectual Property Law
- Co-Director of Industrial Property - Patents and Trade Marks (15 ECTS), a specialist module which is part of the LLM in European Intellectual Property Law
- Supervisor of Master Thesis in European Intellectual Property Law (30 ECTS), a research-focused module which is part of the LLM in European Intellectual Property Law
My research interests and activities relate to intellectual property law, with a special focus on the EU and national dimensions thereof.
Areas of activity include: the process and result of EU copyright harmonization and the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU); rights enforcement over the internet and the role and liability of online intermediaries; fashion and intellectual property; questions of international jurisdiction and applicable law in online infringement cases; EU trade mark law; overlapping rights; EU copyright reform policy discourse.
I am the author of:
- Two research monographs, Originality in EU Copyright (Edward Elgar:2013) and Copyright and the Court of Justice of the European Union (Oxford University Press:2019); and
- An article-by-article commentary to EU Directive 2019/790: Copyright in the Digital Single Market - Article-by-Article Commentary to the Provisions of Directive 2019/790 (Oxford University Press:2021).
I also edited The Routledge Handbook of EU Copyright Law (Routledge:2021) and co-edited (with Hayleigh Bosher) Developments and Directions in Intellectual Property Law. 20 Years of The IPKat (Oxford University Press:2023).
Finally, I am a long-standing contributor to award-winning IP blog The IPKat, for which I have authored over 1,000 posts over the past several years.
Impact and Dissemination
I have been contributing to several policy debates in my own key areas of expertise as an independent commentator.
Besides being asked – by, inter alia, the European Parliament, the European Intellectual Property Office, and the World Intellectual Property Organization – to produce a number of technical briefings and reports, I have been invited to attend official hearings with EU institutions and agencies (World Intellectual Property Organization, European Parliament, European Commission, European Union Intellectual Property Office, and European Audiovisual Observatory) and governments.
I have presented my research as an invited speaker at several academic institutions and conferences around the world. I have prepared delivered talks at the request of international organizations and EU institutions and agencies, as well as international professional bodies and organizations (including ALAI, INTA, AIPPI, LIDC, and ECTA).
I have secured funding for my research on several occasions. I have received publication prizes from Stiftelsen Juridisk Fakultetslitteratur and grants from both major stakeholders – including the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Facebook, and Audible Magic – and non-profit organizations and public bodies – including Wikimedia and Società Italiana Autori ed Editori.
I welcome PhD proposals in the fields of copyright, trade mark, fashion, and internet laws.
A selection from Stockholm University publication database
Copyright and the Court of Justice of the European Union
2023. Eleonora Rosati.Book
First released in early 2019, Copyright and the Court of Justice of the European Union is still the only book completely devoted to the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the EU copyright field. It seeks to understand the Court’s role and action in the area of copyright and the resulting legacy. In his foreword to the first edition, First Advocate General Maciej Szpunar praised the ‘extremely profound analysis […] of EU copyright protection and relevant Court of Justice decisions’ finding that it constituted ‘uncharted territory, unveiling new information, perhaps never considered, even by members of the Court’. Between the first and the present edition, a lot has happened in the EU copyright field. Besides macro-events like the now completed departure of the UK from the EU and the adoption of the DSM Directive (2019/790), significant developments have also occurred in the case law of the CJEU. Among other things, seminal judgments have been issued, which touch upon all the main foundational aspects of EU copyright. This new edition is thus the result of a work of substantial revision. It provides novel insights into the activity of the CJEU in the copyright field and reflects on the resulting implications for the present and future of EU copyright.
Developments and Directions in Intellectual Property Law. 20 Years of The IPKat
2023. .Book (ed)
Copyright in the Digital Single Market
2021. Eleonora Rosati.Book
In 2019, the EU legislature adopted Directive 2019/790 on copyright in the Digital Single Market. The Directive is supported by a multi-faceted rationale and represents one of the most significant and ambitious EU harmonization efforts in the copyright field so far.
This book provides an article-by-article commentary to all the provisions of the Directive. It is the first and – so far – only book entirely devoted to Directive 2019/790.
By analyzing the history, objectives, and content of each and every provision, as well as the relationship between some of those provisions and between the Directive and the pre-existing acquis, this book provides a rational, consistent and detailed explanation of the Directive as a whole and of its individual contents. It is a travel companion to all those who wish or need to navigate the legislative provisions that were adopted in 2019 to make EU copyright fit for the “digital single market”.
The Routledge Handbook of EU Copyright Law
2021. Eleonora Rosati.Book (ed)
The Routledge Handbook of EU Copyright Law provides a definitive survey of copyright harmonization in the European Union, capturing the essential and relevant issues of this relatively recent phenomenon. Over the past few years, two themes have emerged: one the one hand, copyright policy and legislative initiatives have intensified; on the other hand, the large number of references to the Court of Justice of the European Union has substantially shaped the EU copyright framework and, with it, also the copyright framework of individual EU Member States
This handbook is a detailed reference source of original contributions which analyze and critically evaluate the state of EU copyright law with a view to detecting the key trends and patterns in the evolution of EU copyright, weighing the benefits and disadvantages of such evolution. It covers a broad range of topics through clusters focused on: the history and approaches to EU copyright harmonization; harmonization in the areas of exclusive rights, exceptions and limitations, and enforcement; copyright policy and legacy of harmonization.
With contributions from a selection of highly regarded and leading scholars in this field, the Routledge Handbook on European Copyright Law is an essential resource for students and scholars who are interested in the field of copyright law.
Copyright at the CJEU: Back to the start (of copyright protection)
2023. Eleonora Rosati. Developments and Directions in Intellectual Property Law. 20 Years of The IPKatChapter
In its 2009 decision in Infopaq (C-5/08), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) achieved a landmark result: the de facto, horizontal harmonization of the originality requirement. After that, nothing could stay the same.
After providing an overview of the harmonization process in the copyright field over the past 30 years or so and, with that, the environment in which Infopaq came to be, this chapter considers Infopaq and the expansive effect of subsequent case law on other copyright subsistence requirements. The analysis also notes how the eventual outcome of Cofemel (C-683/17), insofar as works of applied art are concerned, is perfectly in line with such a jurisprudence. The chapter further considers the legal and institutional difficulties that such a string of CJEU decisions has given rise to and is yet to resolve before concluding that further questions are likely to be posed to the CJEU in the not too distant future. In other words: the construction of EU copyright is far from over.
Copyright Reformed: The Narrative of Flexibility and Its Pitfalls in Policy and Legislative Initiatives (2011 – 2021)
2022. Eleonora Rosati. Asia Pacific Law ReviewArticle
This article reviews selected copyright policy and legislation at the international, regional, and national level during the period 2011 – 2021. It identifies a common and consistent narrative that supported reform initiatives in the surveyed jurisdictions: the modernization of copyright requires greater flexibility so that the undertaking of certain acts without authorization is not unduly restricted and a fairer balance of rights and interests may be, as a result, achieved. Through the analysis of reform initiatives in different areas of copyright and across several different jurisdictions, it is shown how the flexibility narrative has on occasion had the effect of unduly altering the preventive nature of copyright’s exclusive rights, inappropriately referring to exceptions and limitations as rights of users, overlooking relevant legal obligations, and introducing undue rigidity within the system of private autonomy. It is ultimately submitted that flexibility should not be conflated with fairness. As such, policy- and law-makers should be wary of superficially framing ongoing and future reform discourse around such a narrative without considering the shortcomings that it has led and might unduly lead to.
The Louboutin/Amazon cases (C-148/21 and C-184/21) and primary liability under EU trade mark law
2022. Eleonora Rosati. European intellectual property review (7)Article
In Louboutin/Amazon (C-148/21 and C-184/21), the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) has been requested to determine whether and, if so, at what conditions the operator of an online marketplace (a hybrid marketplace) may be found liable under Article 9(2) of the EU Trade Mark Regulation 2017/1001 for the display of advertisements and the delivery of infringing goods that are offered for sale and placed on the market upon the initiative and under the control of independent sellers that avail themselves of that operator’s services.
This opinion piece addresses the broader context against which these joined cases will need to be assessed and concludes that the operator of an online marketplace like the one described by the referring courts should not be held directly liable for trade mark infringement. As such, the CJEU should answer all referred questions in the negative. Holding otherwise would not only be contrary to settled case law of the Court itself, but would also unduly broaden the scope of application of the EU primary liability regime for trade mark infringement.
Linking and copyright in the shade of VG Bild-Kunst
Eleonora Rosati. Common market law reviewArticle
In VG Bild-Kunst, the Grand Chamber of the ECJ has expressly held, for the first time, that
linking to a copyright work lawfully published on a third-party website may be restricted
through contract and not solely through technical restrictions on access (for instance, a
paywall). To this end, however, the concerned rightholder is required to adopt or mandate
the adoption of effective technological measures. Lacking these, an unauthorised act of
linking shall not be infringing. The judgment has important implications for the construction
of the right of communication to the public in the InfoSoc Directive 2001/29 and its
application to online scenarios, as well as for the interpretation of provisions in other EU
copyright directives, including the DSM Directive 2019/790. It also raises questions
regarding the compatibility of the Court’s reasoning with key tenets of copyright law, such
as the no formalities rule in the Berne Convention, and the prohibition of exhaustion of this
The Digital Services Act and Copyright Enforcement: The case of Article 17 of the DSM Directive
2021. Eleonora Rosati. Unravelling the Digital Services Act Package, IRIS Special, 2021/1Conference
In late 2020, the European Commission unveiled its Proposal for a Digital Services Act (DSA). Once adopted, the DSA may confirm the core principles of the ‘safe harbour’ regime for certain information society service providers (ISPs, as well as the prohibition of general monitoring as currently found, respectively, at Articles 12 to 14 and 15 of the e-Commerce Directive.201 It may also uphold the removal of any disincentives to proactive behaviours of ISPs in accordance with its “Good Samaritan” approach, as well as enhance fairness, transparency, and accountability with regard to certain digital services’ moderation practices.
At a first and formal glance, the DSA Proposal and the EU copyright framework, including the 2019 Directive on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market (DSM Directive) belong to two separate worlds: recital 11 and Article 1(5) of the former expressly state that it shall be without prejudice to EU rules in the copyright and related rights field. It follows that, among other things, the DSM Directive and the regime contained in its Article 17 shall be regarded as lex specialis to the DSA (once adopted), on the consideration that they relate specifically to copyright infringements andbecause they apply to a sub-set of online platforms, that is, online content sharing service providers (hereinafter, OCSSPs).
All the above said, however, it would be both superficial and erroneous to think that the DSA will not affect the interpretation and application of Article 17 of the DSM Directive. The eventual shape of the DSA will be of great relevance to inter alia determining when the regime in Article 17 applies in the first place, to whom, and how.
When does a communication to the public under EU copyright law need to be to a ‘new public’?
2020. Eleonora Rosati. European Law ReviewArticle
This article analyses CJEU case law on the notion of ‘new public’ in the context of the right of communication to the public in EU copyright law, with a focus on Article 3(1) of the InfoSoc Directive. It investigates its origin, use and development, as well as the justifications given for such use. By identifying for the first time four distinct groups of case law, the analysis shows how the role of the ‘new public’ has changed over time. If intended as a requirement, the ‘new public’ creates undue complexity in the reasoning of the CJEU in most instances. While others have suggested that the CJEU should disregard this notion altogether, this article proposes a less radical way for the CJEU to ‘escape’ the difficulties inherent to its own jurisprudence.
What Does the European Commission Make of the EU Copyright Acquis When It Pleads Before the CJEU? The Legal Service’s Observations in Digital/Online Cases
2020. Eleonora Rosati. European Law Review 45 (1), 67-99Article
This is the first study entirely devoted to analysing the content of the European Commission’s observations in CJEU copyright referrals, with an emphasis on the online/digital dimension. It examines the Commission’s view of the EU copyright acquis in relation to economic rights, exceptions and limitations and enforcement, and evaluates it in light of international and EU law. The observations have been sometimes consistent with case law, but this has not been so in a number of topical instances. This contribution suggests that all this signals an (unsuccessful) attempt on the side of the Commission to persuade the CJEU to ‘depart’ from consolidated case law, justified more by policy considerations rather than a rigorous reading of the law and earlier jurisprudence.
The absolute ground for refusal or invalidity in Article 7(1)(e)(iii) EUTMR/4(1)(e)(iii) EUTMD
2020. Eleonora Rosati. Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice 15 (2), 103-122Article
Among the absolute grounds for refusal or invalidity in EU trade mark law, there is one for signs that consist exclusively of ‘the shape, or another characteristic, which gives substantial value to the goods’.
The ‘substantial value’ exclusion has received relatively limited attention and practical application. Some commentators have called for its abolition on consideration that other, clearer absolute grounds may perform its role without giving rise to those issues linked to its uncertain meaning and scope.
This contribution reviews relevant EU case law on the substantial value ground in order to define rationales, scope and functions thereof. It submits that the substantial value ground performs a role—primarily that of preventing or limiting a distortion of the role of trade mark registration—which cannot be subsumed in other grounds. However, clearer guidance on certain fundamental aspects, including the role of the average consumer, reputation and the relevance of the behaviour of the trade mark applicant/owner, is still required.
Copyright as an obstacle or an enabler? A European perspective on text and data mining and its role in the development of AI creativity*
2019. Eleonora Rosati. Asia Pacific Law Review 27 (2), 198-217Article
Text and data mining (TDM) may be performed in a variety of fields and for different purposes. Among other things, TDM techniques may be used to ‘train’ Artificial Intelligence (AI), also for the purpose of AI-driven creativity. In this context, copyright restrictions might be in place, even if copies made of pre-existing content are only used internally and are instrument to the creation of something ‘new’. Recently, in the context of the Directive 2019/790 on copyright in the Digital Single Market, the EU legislature introduced two new mandatory exceptions for TDM.
This contribution discusses the interplay between TDM and AI creativity by focusing, first, on the potential and technicalities of TDM and the interplay with legal restrictions. Second, it reviews the copyright-related issues facing TDM and the debate underlying the adoption of this new piece of EU legislation. Third, it reflects on the future of AI creativity in Europe.
This article concludes that, even despite the adoption of two new mandatory TDM exceptions in the DSM Directive which are now to be transposed by individual EU Member States, copyright restrictions might continue affecting and restricting significantly the possibility of undertaking TDM activities in Europe.
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