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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The fragrant but (un)safe harbour: what happened to Hong Kong’s Copyright amendment?

Hong Kong may be famed for its deep and sheltered harbour, but prolonged debate over amendments to the Copyright Ordinance have seen ‘safe harbours’ for internet providers sink. On 8 March 2016, an Editorial in the South China Morning Post mourned for Hong Kong’s amendment, Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014: With the legislature becoming increasingly hostile, the passage of government bills …

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Social media “influencers”: the do’s and don’ts of disclosure

It’s now a widely acknowledged reality that commercial organisations need defined social media strategies and policies in place as a framework for approaching the world of ’gramming, liking, sharing, connecting (and, a recent addition to the Facebook stable, “reacting”) online.  An increasingly important part of that strategy is often engaging social media ambassadors or “influencers” to promote products or brands …

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Soft Kitty, Same Kitty: The Big Bang Theory sued for copyright infringement… Bazinga

Over Christmas, the producers of The Big Bang Theory (amongst others) received a rather unwelcome gift – their now-famous Soft Kitty lullaby has become the subject of a copyright infringement claim. The daughters of Edith Newlin, a New Hampshire nursery school teacher, claim the show has copied their mother’s 1933 poem, Warm Kitty, without their mother’s permission. For those of …

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Are search results defamatory? Google’s not feeling lucky

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but search results can hurt you? At least, that seems to be way the Australian courts have been leaning. In the latest in a series of cases against Google, Google was unsuccessful in its bid to set aside a writ and statement of claim alleging defamation by their search results. The person bringing …

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500 versions of software – when is a new version of software original and when does copyright subsist?

The Full Court, in its recent decision JR Consulting & Drafting Pty Limited v Cummings [2016] FCAFC 20 tackled some difficult questions of subsistence of copyright and originality. Considering the circumstance where an original work has been altered by a number of changes that are insubstantial in the context of the foundation work, the Full Court asked: Is the text …

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