Category Archive for: ‘Trade marks’

Domain name disputes: gaydar.net.au vs mygaydar.com

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Mars told: Bounty is just another chocolate bar

The European Court of First instance (Court) has rejected Mars’ attempt to register the shape of its coconut chocolate bar, Bounty, as a trademark.  In short, the Court held that the Bounty bar was just another chocolate bar, and there was nothing special or distinctive in its shape.

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Bavarian beer: Europe puts in its 2 cents.

Is BAYERISCHES BIER (translating as BAVARIAN BEER) a geographical indicator?  The European verdict, on this European beer, is in. 

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Qantas wins, Virgin loses: punctuation responsible.

Qantas and Virgin recently fought out a much repeated trade mark dispute about “how close is too close?”  and a less frequent dispute about “to what extent do we (the reasonable consumer) notice punctuation in a trade mark?”

The marks in question were:

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Copycat perfumes and coat-tails: “unfair advantage” in the European Court of Justice

L’Oreal produces and markets a number of well-known fragrances, including the perfumes Trésor, Miracle and Anaïs-Anaïs.  L’Oreal is also the registered owner of a number of marks in relation to these perfumes, including word marks (such as “Trésor”) and figurative marks (covering representations of the bottles and packaging of the perfumes). 

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Facebook launches new trade mark protection mechanism for members’ usernames

 

Since last Saturday (14 June), users of the popular social networking site have been able to to customise the URL of their profile pages, making them more distinctive and easier to remember.

Aliases were allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, which sparked a ‘land rush’ to claim the most popular names.  Most common firstnames and surnames were claimed within minutes, leaving many disappointed at having to settle for ‘facebook.com/john.smith5549’.

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Chocolate: the “flavour of the month” in European intellectual property law too …

It’s good to see that European intellectual property lawyers are grappling with issues surrounding the appearance and packaging of chocolate as much as we are here in Australia (albeit in a slightly different context).

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UPDATED: Sweet rewards

Updated: Mallesons has published an alert giving further analysis of the decision – available here.

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Bavaria, beer, and bad grammar: how to avoid s 61 of the Trade Marks Act

In a recent Federal Court case, the Brewery Association of Bavaria (BBA) claimed that the German state of Bavaria was so synonymous with beer that the word “BAVARIA” on a beer label would amount to a geographical indicator (GI), contrary to s 61 of the Trade Marks Act (the Act).  Section 61 prevents the registration of a mark which contains an indicator that the product came from a particular region and has a quality or reputation attributable to that region.

The mark opposed by BBA was a beer label containing the words:

BAVARIA
HOLLAND
BEER

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