“EL ROSCO”, incorporated into “PASAPALABRA”, a popular television quiz show broadcast in Spain by the ATRESMEDIA Group, is an autonomous television format protected by copyright.
HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER obtains a historic ruling in Spain regarding television formats and copyright, in the case of «El Rosco», a television format incorporated into the «Pasapalabra» quiz show, broadcast with great success and high audience ratings on Spanish television. The news has generated a multitude of headlines in the Spanish press and media.
The IP Litigation working group of the Madrid office of HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER, on behalf of the Dutch group MC&F Broadcasting Production and Distribution C.V., has defended and proven that the copyright of “El Rosco”, probably the most representative test of the “Pasapalabra” contest, is owned by the MC&F group. «El Rosco» consists of a game of general knowledge questions for a quiz show, that requires at least two contestants who compete to answer a certain number of questions, presented in the form of a circle around the participant, formulated in such a way that the answers begin with each letter of the alphabet arranged in alphabetical order (or, in the case of less common letters, contain them) in a maximum limited time of 100 seconds. The team was led by Partner Álvaro Velázquez, Professor and Lawyer Juan José Marín, and Associate Carmen Amor.
Section 15 of the Provincial Court of Barcelona, specialized in intellectual property, has handed down this judgment against the decision of Mercantile Court number 8 of Barcelona, and established that our client is the owner of the copyright of the well-known final test of the “Pasapalabra” contest. In this sense, it considers duly proven that Reto Luigi Pianta and René Mauricio Loeb are the authors of “El Rosco”, founders and exclusive assignors of their rights to the MC&F group, of the game 21×100 or “The Final Game”, known in Spain as ” El Rosco” which was introduced first in the Italian version of the show “Passaparola” in 1999.
Additionally, the court considers that «El Rosco», contrary to what was alleged by the counterparty, constitutes an autonomous television format and that, as such, is protected as a copyrighted work, and this protected work was integrated into «Pasapalabra». In this way, the court declares the existence of an effective infringement of the copyright owned by MC&F, grants injunctive relief and orders compensation for damages.
This judgment is not only a milestone for our client MC&F, who prevailed despite the alleged res judicata effects of a previous lengthy litigation between Mediaset and ITV which was brought up to the Spanish Supreme Court, but also a reinforcement of the value of television formats as protected works, both in Spain and in the context of the European Union.
The Judgment may be subject to extraordinary and cassation appeals before the Supreme Court.
For more information (in Spanish):
- Expansión Business Newspaper:
La Audiencia de Barcelona ordena a Atresmedia que deje de emitir El Rosco de Pasapalabra
Atresmedia afronta el posible cese provisional de ‘El Rosco’ de Pasapalabra
- Press Release by the Spanish Judiciary: C.G.P.J – Noticias Judiciales (poderjudicial.es)
- Public version of the Judgment published by the Spanish Judiciary Case Law database: SAP B 10890/2022 – ECLI:ES:APB:2022:10890