Category Archive for: ‘Trade marks’

Formula One and now the Australian Grand Prix Corporation look to cash in – the big Huey shoey bluey

You might have heard of the shadow boxing match between the Formula One’s licensing arm and The Mad Hueys – well, as of 2 May 2018, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation has decided to enter the fray. Hold on to your boots, we’re going in. The celebratory act of drinking beer or champagne from a shoe (the “shoey”) is a …

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HOUSE HUNTERS – favourable treatment of TV show titles at the EUIPO Board of Appeal level

Ahhhh, I love the smell of a freshly printed EUIPO absolute grounds case in the morning! Often the most interesting decisions are those relatively rare beasts in which the initial examination objection is overturned by the Board. In a recent decision, the 4th Board of Appeal had to consider the registrability of HOUSE HUNTERS in respect of class 41 services: …

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Beer in the clear: Full Federal Court declares no prohibition on ‘Pacific Ale’ trade mark

Trouble brewing In the past few years the Australian craft beer market has experienced significant growth, with hundreds of independent breweries springing up around the country.   But competition is not always friendly and in 2015 trouble began brewing between two interstate rivals, Stone & Wood and Elixir.  The dispute eventually spilled over into the courts, (see Stone & Wood Group …

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AMG meats its maker: Australian Meat Holdings protect a fair dinkum mark

The Federal Court has found that the Australian Meat Group (AMG) has infringed the trade mark of one of Australia’s largest meat producers. The Court also narrowly applied the substantial identity test, bucking the trend of some recent decisions which indicated that the Court may be widening the scope of the assessment. Long ago, the meat lobby figured out a …

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Gotta catch ‘em all – Pokémon Company International, Inc. v Redbubble Ltd

In the battle against copyright infringement in the online world, rights holders are increasingly targeting aggregators and disseminators of infringing content, rather than doing battle with individual infringers themselves. In a recent example of this, Pokémon Company International (Pokémon) won in their Federal Court pursuit of copyright infringement claims and breach of consumer protection laws against Redbubble Ltd (Redbubble), the …

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Summer BOD competition: social media queens engage in trade mark litigation

Social media queens Sophie Guidolin and Rachael Finch both run fitness businesses through Instagram, promoting the #healthy lifestyle. The contested use of the word ‘BOD’ by Rachael Finch led Sophie Guidolin to apply for an interlocutory injunction for trade mark infringement, as well as passing off and/or breach of the Australian Consumer Law. In deciding whether to grant the interlocutory …

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In Good Shape – the Federal Court’s reminder to fit-out and shape your trade mark protection

In the recent case of Shape Shopfitters Pty Ltd v Shape Australia Pty Ltd (No 3) [2017] FCA 865, the Federal Court of Australia considered whether certain marks that included the word “SHAPE” were deceptively similar: Applicant’s registered mark   Respondent’s marks Although a large proportion of the decision focused on whether there had been breaches of the Australian Consumer …

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Rock, racism and the Constitution: the US Supreme Court takes a different slant on trade marks

America! It’s a land of flags, Twinkies, NASCAR. and Constitutional amendments.  Matal v Tam (PDF) is the most recent warning not to get between an American and any of those things. The case concerned the application by a “new-wave dance rock” band to register their band name as a trade mark. Ordinarily, the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) would let …

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How much dough are smells worth?: Hasbro files a scent mark in the US

Our sense of smell (or ‘olfactation’ as it is technically described) is said to be the sense most intimately linked to our memories. There are certain distinctive smells that, without fail, trigger in us nostalgia for the halcyon days of childhood – the bleach-like whiff of chlorine after a day at the local pool, the waxy odour of Crayola crayons …

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