Category Archive for: ‘Trade marks’

An “all or nothing” approach to trade mark opposition proceedings in Australia?

A Hearing Officer at IP Australia recently upheld McDonald’s opposition against the mark McKosher in respect of a broad range of goods and services in classes 29, 30, 32 and 43. McDonald’s demonstrated a reputation in Australia in various earlier Mc-formative trade marks such that there was a likelihood of contextual confusion. The McKosher mark was “of the same conceptual …

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Productivity Commission recommends extensive changes to Australian IP – including fair use, circumventing geoblocks, abolishing business method and software patents and more!

Today, the Productivity Commission has released its draft report into Australia’s intellectual property arrangements. IP Whiteboard readers may recall that last year, the Federal Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a comprehensive review of Australia’s intellectual property system (see our previous post here). At 600 pages, the draft report is certainly comprehensive! We have published an alert summarising the …

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Can I use a competitor’s name or trade marks for Google AdWords?

This question is often asked by companies considering ways to funnel internet traffic to their own website by diverting internet users seeking to access a competitor’s website. A single judge of the Federal Court has found that the use of a competitor’s trade mark as a keyword in Google AdWords is neither trade mark infringement nor likely to mislead or …

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Aristocrat v Global Gaming – it’s all fun and games until someone infringes a trade mark

The Federal Court’s decision in Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd v Global Gaming Supplies Pty Ltd [2016] FCAFC marks the end* of a long-running dispute between the Aristocrat Technologies group and Global Gaming Supplies, Impact Gaming and Tonia Enterprises. *hopefully The Aristocrat group and its trade marks The Aristocrat group supplies gaming technologies and services to the international gaming industry. …

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No Flex Zone – Federal Court sends Australian company packing over trade mark dispute

For readers who are fond of a good deli selection, discussions of the chemical composition of plastics, or interesting trade mark issues (or all three) – this one’s for you. The Applicant, Flexopack S.A. Plastics Industry, is a Greek company which sells and distributes thermoplastic food packaging films around the world under the trade mark “Flexopack”. The Applicant has various …

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Kylie Minogue takes on Kylie Jenner – what happens when two celebrities have the same name?

We all love a good post about the Kardashians (see here). Last time we blogged about the Jenner sisters (Kendall and Kylie) applying for trade mark applications in the US for their first names, as well as the phrase “Kendall and Kylie”. Well, since our last post, the USPTO accepted the application and hot-pants-Kylie (Minogue) has now filed an opposition against …

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Low or no similarity between marks a matter of semantics – the UK RA case and a call to adopt an avenue of appeal to Appointed Persons under Australian trade marks practice?

It is no secret that decisions of Appointed Persons (AP) of the UKIPO occupy a special place in our hearts here at IP Whiteboard. Who or what are Appointed Persons? Following a first instance decision from a Hearing Officer of the UKIPO in a trade mark matter, there are two avenues of appeal: (a) the High Court and (b) the …

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Too popular for its own good? McDonalds and the famous prefix “MAC”

In the recent decision of McD Asia Pacific LLC v Sheikhtaba Pty Ltd [2015] ATMO 112, McDonald’s found its famed “MAC” prefix was too popular for its own good, the Delegate of the Registrar of Trade Marks rejecting its opposition to registration of the logo mark MAK FOODS on grounds of deceptive similarity and established reputation.    (Image from Australian …

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Wrong side of the line – more absolute grounds rejections for stripe marks of K-Swiss Inc and Shoe Branding Europe BVBA

We’ve devoted a lot of time on IP Whiteboard to position marks, particularly in the fashion sector. Recently, a number of decisions have come down rejecting stripe marks, and it is worth briefly having a look at the arguments and the reasoning and contrasting them against some earlier decisions. The “skinny” is that there is a relatively consistent line (sorry) …

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