And the copyright changes keep coming – safe harbour, fair dealing and more

If copyright lawyers hadn’t already had a busy enough year in 2015 with the introduction of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act 2015, they were in for a special holiday treat when the Department of Communications and the Arts released some more interesting draft amendments to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (“the Act”) for public comment on Christmas Eve. Among other …

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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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EU trade mark reform – action to take now

There are some important upcoming changes to Community Trade Mark law and practice due to come into force on 23 March 2016. This is in addition to the change of the branding of the CTM itself: OHIM will change its name to the EU Trade Marks Office, and the CTM will become the EUTM. As ever, there will be benefits …

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Our top 5 Australian copyright developments in 2015

As 2016 begins, we take a look back at the key developments in copyright in 2015 in Australia.   It certainly has been a busy year, with amendments to the Copyright Act, the development of a Copyright Notice Scheme, and not to forget the Dallas Buyers Club litigation, the famous dead cat and houses with “French Provincial style with a Caribbean …

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Million Dollar Moggy: Grumpy Cat’s coffee copyright grind

What is your cat worth to you? If you answered “at least a few hundred thousand dollars in damages and the rights to a lucrative domain name”, you may be Tabatha Bundesen, owner of feline internet sensation Grumpy Cat. With this much potential money in the kitty, it was only a matter of time before Grumpy Cat got into a …

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Same same but different? Federal Court finds Reckitt Benckiser’s/Nurofen’s marketing of the ‘specific pain relief’ range constitutes misleading and deceptive conduct

Last week Justice Edelman delivered judgment in the Federal Court, finding that Reckitt Benckiser (Australia)’s packaging and website descriptions of the Nurofen ‘Specific Pain Range’ constituted misleading or deceptive conduct under section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law (‘ACL’). Reckitt Benckiser was found to have represented that the four products in the Nurofen Specific Pain Range were each specifically formulated …

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