Category Archive for: ‘Trade marks’

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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The UK eBay decision – raises more questions than it answers?

L’Oreal made three key claims against eBay in the proceedings:

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Bad faith trade mark application refused

For the first time in Australia, the registration of a trade mark has been refused on the ground that the application was made in bad faith.  The decision of the Australian Trade Marks Office in Hard Coffee Pty Limited v Hard Coffee Main Beach Pty Limited [2009] ATMO 26 is the first successful opposition pursuant to s 62A of the Trade Marks Act, which applies to all trade marks accepted on or after 23 October 2006, and read

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A cautionary tale (and tips) for inventors

Taking steps to protect your invention could seem like a hassle when you’re buzzing with excitement and want to tell the whole world about your great new idea.  But it’s worth taking a moment to stop and consider how to best protect your invention, as this cautionary tale demonstrates.

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