5SOS, Hush Puppies, Cristal, CCs, Guru Denim and much much more – trade mark case law in Australia, New Zealand and the UK – 2015 highlights

Well, what a year it has been, with so much more in store for 2016. Here at IP Whiteboard we thought we would run a highlights reel of some key trade mark decisions reported on “arguably the world’s favourite IP blog” during 2015.

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Haters Gonna Hate (hate, hate, hate, hate): Why are famous singers so often sued for copyright infringement?

Taylor Swift was sued by R&B singer Jesse Braham for US$42 million for alleged copyright infringement in the lyrics of her chart toppings song “Shake it Off”.   Two weeks later, the claim was dismissed. It seems that every famous singer these days has been sued for copyright infringement. Think Pharrell Williams, Beyonce, Jay Z, Sam Smith, Coldplay… and the list …

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Poor man’s CRISTAL, CRISTALINO, found to infringe – the distinct relevance of reputation in assessing the likelihood of confusion in the UK and Australia?

In a recent decision from Mrs Justice Rose, the famous champagne house Roederer has successfully sued J Garcia Carrion SA (JGC) for trade mark infringement. JGC’s use of CRISTALINO in respect of cava infringed Roederer’s registered mark CRISTAL. The outcome seems straightforward enough (though it is worth noting for completeness that the defendants were not represented at trial). The infringement …

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Could your Halloween costume land you in the middle of a legal nightmare?

The answer may scare you …

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Too much of a stretch to recognise copyright in yoga?

The US Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit has held that the famous sequence of yoga poses (or “asanas”) developed by Bikram Choudhury (and performed at 40°C) does not attract copyright protection. A copy of the decision is here. Choudhury sued a yoga studio, Evolation Yoga, established by two former students, which offered hot yoga classes in which the …

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Crocodile attacks in New Zealand – Lacoste death rolls Crocodile International again

New Zealand may have beaten France in the Rugby World Cup quarter finals, but one French sporting icon is winning a strategic branding war in New Zealand. For the third time in four years, the High Court of New Zealand has overturned the decision of the Assistant Commissioner of IPONZ and acknowledged the breadth of Lacoste’s trade mark rights in …

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Productivity Commission releases roadmap for IP review and calls for submissions

Last week, the Productivity Commission released the Issues Paper in accordance with its comprehensive review of Australia’s IP regime (Inquiry). In a previous post, we outlined the scope of the Inquiry and the key areas of the IP regime which the Federal Government had directed the Commission to examine and report on by August 2016. The Issues Paper sets out …

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s IP provisions: Biologics and biosimilars, copyright and privacy

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was concluded on 5 October 2015, after 8 years of negotiations. Its twelve signatories, who together account for 40% of world GDP, are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam. The details of the agreement have yet to be released, but a number of drafts of the agreement …

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EU-US privacy safe harbor no longer safe

Our European colleagues have summarised the recent decision of the European Court of Justice dealing with the EU-US privacy safe harbor.  This is a big deal – the US Secretary of Commerce has been quoted as saying that the decision “puts at risk the thriving trans-Atlantic digital economy”. The plaintiff in the case, Mr Schrems, objected to Facebook Ireland transferring …

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