Yearly Archive for: ‘2014’

Should we #RenameISIS? When trade marks attack

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” – Shakespeare What if roses, instead of being called “roses”, were called “stink bells”?  Would they smell as sweet?  What if they were called “crapweed” or “stench blossoms”, as Bart Simpson famously suggested? What about if they were called “ISIS”? Unfortunately, this …

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CANARY WHARF trade mark rejected for being 30 years too late! Protect your valuable property names as trade marks at conception

Branded real estate in the industrial, commercial and residential markets is big business. The brand adopted can influence perception and price. It is no surprise then that developers are increasingly taking steps to protect these brands by registering them as trade marks. We recently discussed some legal developments for these kinds of brands (including shopping centres) here. An even more …

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Privacy and employee records – CP and Dept of Defence

The Privacy Commissioner’s determination in the matter of CP and the Department of Defence illustrates one significant difference in the treatment of federal agencies and private sector organisations under the federal Privacy Act. This case involved an employee of the department who had made a claim for worker’s compensation in respect of an injury alleged to be work-related. The department …

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Possessory liens over IP or data

I recently caught up on some UK legal developments, and was struck by a decision which held that the English common law did not recognise a lien over intangible property. Much of what the Court of Appeal had to say in its decision is likely to be influential in Australia. The case involved two parties who had entered into a …

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ATMOsphere – Trade Marks Office Decisions – September 2014

In January this year, we started a new series of posts from IP Whiteboard: ATMOsphere, aiming to keep our readers up-to-date on what has been happening in the world of Trade Marks Office decisions (see the July ATMOsphere post here and our May 2014 post here). As explained there, our aim is both to provide a very high level summary …

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IP & Competition Law…a match made in reform heaven?

Yesterday, the Competition Policy Review Panel released its Draft Report on the effectiveness of Australia’s current competition policy and laws, and its recommendations for the promotion of competition across the economy. Our colleagues over at In Competition published this brief post here and a more detailed alert here, focusing on the broader aspects of competition policy reform canvassed in the …

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Who is in that photograph? The Federal Court refuses motion to strike out an allegedly vexatious claim for copyright infringement

In 1989, Allen & Unwin published “Brothers in Arms: The Inside Story of Two Bikie Gangs”. A photograph of a young woman appeared in that book, and the person in the photograph was identified in the book as Leanne Walters. Ms Walters was a victim killed in the crossfire of a notorious shootout between two rival bikie gangs in 1984. …

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Can a computer decide whether two business names are “nearly identical”?

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal decided at the end of August 2014 that the prior registration of “Melbourne Children’s Psychology Clinic” as a business name prevented the registration of “Melbourne Child Psychology” and “Melbourne Child Psychology Services” because the latter names were “nearly identical” to the former. Whilst the decision traversed issues of the kind familiar to any practitioner with some …

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Negotiating the perils and pitfalls of corporate social media: a lesson from Madden v Seafolly

Online social media is now widely acknowledged as the new frontier of corporate communications.  Indeed, nearly 80 per cent of large companies now use social media to connect with their customers.  Having an online presence has become effectively mandatory, but with that comes a range of risks, including in relation to potentially misleading or defamatory statements. The recent decision in …

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