Monthly Archive for: ‘June, 2013’

Classics, Copyright and (un)chained melodies – who owns the rights to ‘Happy Birthday to you’?

When Jennifer Nelson in the United States created a documentary on the Happy Birthday to You song, she didn’t think that it was necessary to pay any licensing fees, as she didn’t think that copyright in the song was owned by anyone. After all, the song has been around for over 100 years! Well, Warner/Chappell Music Inc (Warner/Chappell) disagrees. It …

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Look Alike Get Up II: The Taste Test

Looking for a nerdy IP team bonding event? Well, IP Whiteboard is here to help. Having created our scorecard to assess Look Alike packaging, we have now put Aldi’s marketing promise “Like brands. Only cheaper” to the test.

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US Supreme Court tries to strike a balance between patentable and non-patentable genetic material

In a decision handed down overnight, the United States Supreme Court has found that naturally occurring DNA is a product of nature that is not rendered patentable by virtue of being isolated. Myriad, the patentee of a claim to the isolated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, was found to have not created or altered the generic information encoded in the genes, …

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Heartache and Sour Grapes on the Internet: A Lesson in Case Management

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. It’s an old saying, but it rings true, especially when social media is your platform of choice for voicing some less than complimentary opinions. The temptation to vent your frustrations via Facebook or Twitter can be overwhelming- after all, we spend a lot of time online. However, it’s all …

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Crown use of patents set for a shake-up

Last week, we blogged about the recommendations made by the Productivity Commission in its Report into the operation of the compulsory licensing provisions of the Patents Act.  In addition to making various recommendations on how the compulsory licensing provisions should be amended to improve their operation, and in the light of its mandate to “recommend any alternative mechanisms” to compulsory licensing, …

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Productivity Commission advocates change to compulsory licensing of patents

Last year, the Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to review the operation of the compulsory licensing provisions of the Patents Act.  In particular, it asked the Commission to: assess whether the current compulsory licensing provisions (in Chapter 6 of the Patents Act) can be invoked efficiently and effectively; recommend any measures to efficiently and effectively exercise the compulsory licensing …

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ALRC proposes “fair use” exception to copyright infringement

On 5 June 2013, the Australian Law Reform Commission released a Discussion Paper for its Copyright and the Digital Economy inquiry. Amongst other things, the ALRC has proposed the introduction of a US-style broad and flexible “fair use” exception to copyright infringement. If enacted, the proposals would have a broad ranging effect on copyright law and practice in Australia.

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Look-Alike Get Up – Can IP Whiteboard develop an objective method to test that most subjective of assessments?

At IP Whiteboard we’ve developed a scoring system to help assess look-alike packaging for legal risk…whichever side you’re on. In this blog post we’ll explain the scoring system, and give you some examples to self-assess (using Aldi as our ‘base case’).

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