Monthly Archive for: ‘February, 2014’

Pucker up for some trade mark action –“Kiss”-ing just got a whole lot more legal

It was news enough when high profile radio duo Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson (known on air as “Jackie O”) moved to the Australian Radio Network’s (‘ARN’) Sydney Mix station late last year, with their new show commencing in January. Sydney Mix then decided to re-launch the station under the ‘Kiis’ FM brand (a station used in North America by …

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Court finds Optus misled consumers on network coverage

If you heard the following sentence in an advertisement, what would you think it means? “When it comes to the percentage of Australians the Optus mobile network reaches, there isn’t much difference between us and Telstra. In fact, it’s less than 1%.” What about if, as the voiceover was playing, the advertisement moved through images that showed a map of …

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Do hyperlinks infringe copyright? The CJEU considers the question in Svensson, but how does this compare to Australia?

The “www” at the start of a URL stands for the “world wide web”.  It is a web of inter-linked hypertext documents (web pages).  The references or links between those documents are known as “hyperlinks”.   This is probably so obvious to you that you don’t even notice it.  But what would happen if hyperlinks infringed copyright? In a case that …

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Not Your Daughter’s Jeans – Chances of registering a position mark slimmer in New Zealand as compared to Australia. But should they be?

First there were corsets, then shaping underwear (Spanx, anyone?) and now slimming jeans. Often these garments are hidden from view, but the consumer knows exactly what they are looking for leading up to and beyond the point of sale. But are our decision-makers keeping up with the times when businesses try to protect their valuable brands? A recent decision in …

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Give me a break – Kit Kat reference setting the bar too high on factual distinctiveness for shape marks?

Before we hit the law-talking stuff, I’ll declare an interest: I’m a bit of a fan of the Kit Kat. I would recognize one without its packaging, and I am quite confident that I would recognize one if I was blindfolded. Oh, and the branding around the humble Kit Kat has resulted in some of the most interesting and important …

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The ALRC Final Report is released, recommending “fair use” and the Attorney-General speaks to the Australian Digital Alliance Forum

The Australian Law Reform Commission’s Final Report has been released. It contains 30 recommendations, including the introduction of a “fair use” exception. IP Whiteboard’s Anna Spies and Maurice Gonsalves have prepared an alert on the ALRC’s Final Report and its implications here. While the Final Report was presented to the Attorney General on 30th November last year, it has been …

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Quality, not quantity, the key to inventorship

Neobev Pty Limited v Bacchus Distillery Pty Limited (Administrators Appointed)[1], a decision of Besanko J of the Federal Court published earlier this year, provides insight into the vexed question of joint inventorship – just what does it mean to be a joint inventor of an invention that is the subject of a patent? The respondent, Bacchus Distillery, was a small …

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Who owns the copyright in your family holiday photographs? What about a selfie? The answer is not what you would expect!

Sarah Van Quickelberge, “Selfie”, November 25 2013, Creative Commons Attribution Licence 2.0. Picture this: On a family holiday while hiking in New Zealand, you pause at a beautiful vista with your family and ask a passing stranger to take a photograph of your group.   Or perhaps, while you are walking through a crowded bazaar, a local child grabs your camera, which …

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Ungentlemanly conduct? Jack Wills v The House of Fraser in battle of British bird brands

In Jack Wills Ltd v House of Fraser (Stores) Ltd [2014] EWHC 110, Arnold J has held that House of Fraser’s use of a pigeon logo on clothing products infringes Jack Wills trade mark registration for its Mr Wills logo. The decision underscores the value of registering logos as trade marks, and provides additional support (if it was needed at …

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