Monthly Archive for: ‘July, 2009’

Kookaburra pecking at Men at Work

Earlier this month I commented on the copyright dispute between Men at Work and Larrikin Music about an allegedly stolen flute riff.   The big question before the Court is whether ‘Down Under’, the famous Men at Work song, contains a substantial part of the classic Australian song ‘Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree’ (written in the 1930s by Marion Sinclair).

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Government considering “three strikes” policy for illegal downloaders

Following the release of the government’s report on the Digital Economy, the Communications minister, Stephen Conroy, has indicated that the government is seriously considering the introduction of a three strikes policy to deter illega

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“Help-Help-Copyright-in-Danger”: Pacific Technologies’ unsuccessful bid to claim original literary work in ‘Help Words’

In a recent decision of the Federal Court of Australia, Pacific Technologies (Australia) Pty Ltd was unsuccessful in its claim to copyright in the words “Help-Help-Driver-in-Danger-Call-Police-Ph.000”.  Therefore, the State of Victoria can safely continue using these Help Words on taxi cab driver duress alarms.

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No statutory damages for unregistered foreign copyright works in US

Copyright holders who wish to enforce their copyright in the US take note — you may be required to register in order to receive statutory damages in the US. This revelation comes after the US District Court ruled that unregistered foreign works were not entitled to statutory damages under the US Copyright Act.

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Road map or endless waiting game for Australia’s digital economy future?

Last week the Federal Government released its Digital Economy: Future Directions paper following a 12 month consultation process with the ICT industry.

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Can the MasterChef avoid the bitter taste of victory?

 When Julie took home the MasterChef crown after defeating Poh in a spectacular display of high quality cooking and unique plating, one of the prizes, along with a spot in the Reality TV Hall of Fame (with Ben, Guy, Rob and Jack) and $100,000, was her own cookbook publishing deal. She plans to put her own home-style Aussie recipes in her cookbook, as well as open up her own restaurant serving the food she loves.

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Full Federal Court confirms that grace period is available for divisional patents

The full Federal Court in Mont Adventure Equipment Pty Ltd v Phoenix Leisure Group Pty Ltd [2009] FCAFC 84 has held that a divisional patent application can rely on the filing date of its parent application and therefore claim the benefit of the 12 month grace period. Read our full alert here.

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Photographic reproductions of out-of-term artistic works: slavishly original?

An ongoing dispute between the UK National Portrait Gallery (‘NPG’) and a US-based Wikipedia uploader raises the issue of whether photographs of out-of-term artistic works should attract copyright. 

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Mars told: Bounty is just another chocolate bar

The European Court of First instance (Court) has rejected Mars’ attempt to register the shape of its coconut chocolate bar, Bounty, as a trademark.  In short, the Court held that the Bounty bar was just another chocolate bar, and there was nothing special or distinctive in its shape.

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