Monthly Archive for: ‘December, 2013’

Stop your whining: Geographic indication application for “Prosecco” successfully opposed

On 22 November, the Australian Trade Marks Office handed down its decision in Winemakers’ Federation of Australia v European Commission [2013] ATMOGI 1 (22 November 2013) (“Winemakers”), rejecting an application by the European Commission to list “Prosecco” as a geographical indication (“GI”) of Italy. A GI is defined at section 6 Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) as, in relation to …

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High Court bundles up TPG with a $2 million penalty for misleading advertising

The High Court’s reasons for judgment in ACCC v TPG Pty Ltd [2013] HCA 54 serves as a warning to advertisers that campaigns designed to emphasise the most attractive component of an offer must be carefully designed so not to have the tendency to mislead and deceive consumers.  The lesson for advertisers is to ensure that the dominant or headline …

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Google gets green light on Library Project

On 14 November 2013, Judge Denny Chin of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York found that Google’s “Library Project”, under which it has now scanned tens of millions of books (many of them under copyright) without permission from the rights holders, and made them available in “snippet form”, constituted a “fair use” of the …

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Follow the yellow bit road?: JP Morgan pursues bitcoin-like patent

Digital currencies are a hot topic these days, with their anonymity, freedom from control by centralised banks, and avoidance of merchant transaction fees appealing to various groups around the world. The best-known example of a digital currency is bitcoin, which as recently as last month was trading at over US$1000 per bitcoin (but has since fallen to a far more …

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Storm in a Coffee Cup – Starbucks v “Charbucks”

In the latest instalment in a long-running trade mark battle in the United States, the US Court of Appeals has upheld a decision that the use of “Charbucks” in relation to coffee did not violate Starbucks’ registered trade marks. In 1997, U.S. Black Bear Micro Roastery (whose coffee is apparently unusually darkly roasted) developed a dark coffee blend which they …

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Da ALDI Code: ALDI and the new Grocery Code of Conduct

The Australian Food and Grocery Council and Australia’s two largest supermarket retailers, Coles and Woolworths, have reached agreement on the terms of a new Food and Grocery Prescribed Industry Code of Conduct (the “Code”).  ALDI has thus far refused to sign up to the Code. The new voluntary Code covers several aspects of supermarket regulation including Grocery Supply Agreements and …

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IP Whiteboard editors published in e-commerce law reports

In a case which carries a warning for Australian government employees, the Federal Circuit court confirmed earlier this year, in Banerji v Bowles, that a public servant may be dismissed for criticising government policies on Twitter, even though her profile was anonymous. Natalie Hickey and Samantha McHugh, from our editorial committee, have written an article about this case, published in …

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“Sue me”: Bob Jane restrained from using his name to sell tyres, wheels and car accessories

The renowned “king of tyres”, Bob Jane, has been restrained by the Federal Court from using his own name to sell tyres, wheels, batteries and other accessories for cars.  The former racing identity, who founded the well-known tyre and wheel business Bob Jane T-Marts, has been at the centre of a very public and bitter family dispute.  Jane has faced …

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ACCC releases best practice guide about online reviews – for businesses and review platforms

On Tuesday, the ACCC released best practice guidelines about online reviews for businesses and review platforms. The Guidelines provide detailed practical examples, making clear the types of conduct the ACCC views as potentially misleading. It should be considered by any companies which host online reviews on their own sites, or rely on customer testimonials or reviews, whether on their own …

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