Monthly Archive for: ‘June, 2009’

A story of blimps and telephones: governments take a stand on “ambush marketing”

Despite its combative connotations, ‘ambush marketing’ does not refer to aggressive telemarketers, or the volume of TV advertising these days.  Rather, classic ambush marketing occurs when a company attempts to intrude on an existing arrangement between a sponsor and an event, to get the benefits of being associated with the event, without needing to pay the sponsorship fee.  The techniques for doing this can be quite subtle, designed to allude to the event without referring to it by name.

Developments in New Zealand

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Copycat perfumes and coat-tails: “unfair advantage” in the European Court of Justice

L’Oreal produces and markets a number of well-known fragrances, including the perfumes Trésor, Miracle and Anaïs-Anaïs.  L’Oreal is also the registered owner of a number of marks in relation to these perfumes, including word marks (such as “Trésor”) and figurative marks (covering representations of the bottles and packaging of the perfumes). 

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UPDATE: ACCC says “STOP” to a mobile premium service’s misleading advertisements

On June 5, shortly after the registration of the premium mobile services industry code (discussed here), the Federal Court made declarations that AMV Holding had breached sections 52 and 53 of the TPA in their “BLiNG” advertisements for premium mobile services, published in the popular “Dolly”, “Girlfriend”, and “TV Hits” magazines (ACCC v AMV Holding Ltd [2009] FCA

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US court awards $80,000 per song in key P2P filesharing case

Since 2003, the RIAA and major music labels have launched proceedings against approximately 35,000 users of online peer-to-peer (P2P) filesharing networks, including Kazaa.  The majority of users have settled rather than going to court, agreeing to payments of between USD$3,700 and $5,200.  However, Ms Thomas-Rasset refused to agree to a settlement and was the first user to take her case to court.

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Facebook launches new trade mark protection mechanism for members’ usernames

 

Since last Saturday (14 June), users of the popular social networking site have been able to to customise the URL of their profile pages, making them more distinctive and easier to remember.

Aliases were allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, which sparked a ‘land rush’ to claim the most popular names.  Most common firstnames and surnames were claimed within minutes, leaving many disappointed at having to settle for ‘facebook.com/john.smith5549’.

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Chocolate: the “flavour of the month” in European intellectual property law too …

It’s good to see that European intellectual property lawyers are grappling with issues surrounding the appearance and packaging of chocolate as much as we are here in Australia (albeit in a slightly different context).

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UPDATED: Sweet rewards

Updated: Mallesons has published an alert giving further analysis of the decision – available here.

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Bavaria, beer, and bad grammar: how to avoid s 61 of the Trade Marks Act

In a recent Federal Court case, the Brewery Association of Bavaria (BBA) claimed that the German state of Bavaria was so synonymous with beer that the word “BAVARIA” on a beer label would amount to a geographical indicator (GI), contrary to s 61 of the Trade Marks Act (the Act).  Section 61 prevents the registration of a mark which contains an indicator that the product came from a particular region and has a quality or reputation attributable to that region.

The mark opposed by BBA was a beer label containing the words:

BAVARIA
HOLLAND
BEER

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Final witness statements no longer privileged

Two recent decisions of the Full Federal Court and the NSW Supreme Court have displaced the long-held presumption that final witness statements are protected by legal professional privilege.  The witness statements in question were witness statements that had been served on a party, though were not ultimately relied upon at trial.  These cases suggest that it may now be far easier to obtain final witness statements th

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