Monthly Archive for: ‘February, 2014’

Pucker up for some trade mark action –“Kiss”-ing just got a whole lot more legal

It was news enough when high profile radio duo Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson (known on air as “Jackie O”) moved to the Australian Radio Network’s (‘ARN’) Sydney Mix station late last year, with their new show commencing in January. Sydney Mix then decided to re-launch the station under the ‘Kiis’ FM brand (a station used in North America by …

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Court finds Optus misled consumers on network coverage

If you heard the following sentence in an advertisement, what would you think it means? “When it comes to the percentage of Australians the Optus mobile network reaches, there isn’t much difference between us and Telstra. In fact, it’s less than 1%.” What about if, as the voiceover was playing, the advertisement moved through images that showed a map of …

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Not Your Daughter’s Jeans – Chances of registering a position mark slimmer in New Zealand as compared to Australia. But should they be?

First there were corsets, then shaping underwear (Spanx, anyone?) and now slimming jeans. Often these garments are hidden from view, but the consumer knows exactly what they are looking for leading up to and beyond the point of sale. But are our decision-makers keeping up with the times when businesses try to protect their valuable brands? A recent decision in …

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Give me a break – Kit Kat reference setting the bar too high on factual distinctiveness for shape marks?

Before we hit the law-talking stuff, I’ll declare an interest: I’m a bit of a fan of the Kit Kat. I would recognize one without its packaging, and I am quite confident that I would recognize one if I was blindfolded. Oh, and the branding around the humble Kit Kat has resulted in some of the most interesting and important …

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Quality, not quantity, the key to inventorship

Neobev Pty Limited v Bacchus Distillery Pty Limited (Administrators Appointed)[1], a decision of Besanko J of the Federal Court published earlier this year, provides insight into the vexed question of joint inventorship – just what does it mean to be a joint inventor of an invention that is the subject of a patent? The respondent, Bacchus Distillery, was a small …

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Ungentlemanly conduct? Jack Wills v The House of Fraser in battle of British bird brands

In Jack Wills Ltd v House of Fraser (Stores) Ltd [2014] EWHC 110, Arnold J has held that House of Fraser’s use of a pigeon logo on clothing products infringes Jack Wills trade mark registration for its Mr Wills logo. The decision underscores the value of registering logos as trade marks, and provides additional support (if it was needed at …

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Coca-Cola v PepsiCo in New Zealand – infringement action based on contour bottle mark registrations fails

In The Coca-Cola Company v Frucor Soft Drinks Limited [2013] NZHC 3282 (10 December 2013), Wylie J of New Zealand’s High Court has dismissed trade mark infringement claims levelled by Coca-Cola against Frucor, bottler and distributor of PepsiCo products in New Zealand (I generally refer to the Pepsi parties as PepsiCo below). The decision amply demonstrates the “territoriality” principle, namely …

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King.com is King of ‘Candy’: Candy Crush Saga Developer Granted US Trade Mark

Candy Crush Saga, the brightly-coloured and highly addictive social game, followed the lead of other popular games, such as Angry Birds, to become an online phenomenon of its own. As one of the most popular online games and phone apps, it is no wonder that its developer, King.com Limited, has recognised the value of protecting its brand (they’re not alone – see …

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