Monthly Archive for: ‘April, 2011’

Did you mean … defamation? Why it’s-a not so good for Google’s Autocomplete

Google had a laugh on April Fool’s Day, releasing a joke ad for a “human autocompleter” in place of the computer algorithms presently used.  It’s good to see a corporate entity willing to take the mickey out of itself, as only days earlier, the Milan Court of Appeal handed down a decision that held Google Italy liable for defamation because of the way its autocomplete feature linked a businessman’s name with the words for “fraud” and “conman”.

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It’s the Big Apple for Penguin v Buddha

The borderless nature of the internet was instructive in a recent copyright case in the US.

The New York State Court of Appeals was asked to decide the appropriate jurisdiction for a copyright case, involving the uploading of full copies of a number of books published by Penguin.  The court was not considering the substance of the claim, only the appropriateness of the jurisdiction.  

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How many brands can you name?

Did you know that yesterday was World Intellectual Property Day? Neither did we, until we were alerted to the fact by IP Australia recently. World IP Day is designed to raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trade marks and designs impact our daily lives, something we here at IP Whiteboard whole-heartedly support.

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Patent application to imprint images and messages on foods rejected by Patent Office

Last month the Patent Office released a decision concerning a curious application.  Filed by Proctor & Gamble, the application sought to protect foods with imprinted images which, in conjunction with a separate message (such as a TV ad), would provide an intera

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Friday: the day after Thursday leads to copyright controversy

Rebecca Black is a 13 year old music prodigy from Orange County, California.  Actually, that’s not entirely true.  Rebecca Black is a young girl whose song titled “Friday” is testament to the power of social media and autotune.  With over 100 million hits at the time of writing, the song describes the trials and tribulations faced by a typical 13 year old girl.  She’s “gotta go downstairs, gotta have some cereal”, and decide whether kickin’ in the front seat or sittin’ in the back seat is a better way to get to school.  When the song culminates by propheticall

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We can do this the Easy Way or the hard way

It’s not trade mark infringement to use the registered trade mark of another trader in comparative advertising.  For example, if you are promoting a new cola drink, you won’t infringe Coca-Cola’s registered trade mark by advertising that “it tastes better than Coke”.  However, even if there is no trade mark infringement, comparative advertising is prone to being considered misleading or deceptive.  Infinite Plus Pty Ltd recently found this out the hard way.
 

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Christian Louboutin sees red over Yves Saint Laurent’s alleged infringement of its red sole trade mark

The story goes that over 20 years ago Louboutin painted red nail polish on the soles of a pair of his shoes and, since then, the Louboutin brand has become instantly recognisable by the red-coloured sole which is a key feature of Louboutin designs. 

In 1997 Louboutin registered the “red sole” as a trade mark in the USA and has enforced the trademark against companies such as Payless Shoes which attempted to market and sell shoes with red soles.

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Give me a head with hair…

In its recent decision in International Hair Cosmetics Group Pty UK v International Hair Cosmetics Limited [2011] FCA 339, the Federal Court unravelled a tangled mess of a hair dispute between two companies with competing claims over a series of trade marks including AFFINAGE.  The Applicant (IHC Aust) was the owner of trade marks for AFFINAGE and AFFINAGE INFINITY.  The first Respondent (IHC UK) was the owner of the AFFINAGE trade mark in the UK.

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New efficiencies from national business names register (but no relief for trade mark owners)

The Federal Government has released exposure drafts of its legislation on a national business names registration system.  The proposed new system will give the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) national responsibility for registering, renewing and administering business names for all Australian businesses. 

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