Category Archive for: ‘Trade marks’

TARJAY or TARGET? The registration of parody trade marks

Many Australians colloquially refer to the department store Target as “Tar-Jay” (with a fake French accent), cheekily introducing an up-market French boutique association to Target’s affordable goods.   Such association apparently dates back at least to media references in 1983. The word “Tarjay” entered UrbanDictionary.com in 2008: “Target Store said with a fake french accent to make it sound more upscale …

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Combination marks – the limits of Medion further defined by Arnold J in Jura Origin case

The European Court of Justice’s decision in Medion (Case C-120/04) is one that can provoke vitriol among even the calmest of practitioners. That case involved an infringement action taken against the use of the mark THOMSON LIFE by Thomson, in the face of Medion’s earlier registration for LIFE. The court ruled as follows: “ … where the goods or services …

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Duelling Ukuleles and Sofa Workshops – recent cases highlight advantages of national protection alongside CTM registrations, and the continued importance of passing off

A few weeks ago the UK Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Starbucks HK (not the coffee company) in a passing off case. The UKSC confirmed the fundamental requirement of goodwill in the UK in order to bring such an action in the UK. Mere reputation is not enough. You can see the update from our London team (who acted …

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Everything is awesome for the Lego Minifigure

From children’s toys to video games, via blockbuster movies, the Lego minifigure has to be one of the most iconic toys of recent years. Released in its current form in 1978, over 3.7 billion “minifigs” have been produced. Such is the fame of the small plastic articulated figures, you would struggle to find someone in the developed world between the …

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“Re-calculating … turn around when possible” – In TomTom decision, clear thinking on “wrong way round” confusion

We’ve devoted a bit of airspace to that hoary old chestnut, reverse (or “wrong way round”) confusion. See our earlier notes on the Glee and Europcar cases (here, here and here). It’s an interesting issue, and it’s also incredibly important in the context of a global economy in which fame can arrive overnight. Given the uncertainties and complexities, it’s a …

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Australia signs Free Trade Agreement with China – important implications for IP owners and healthcare providers

After years of negotiation and months of drafting, Australia signed the Free Trade Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the People’s Republic of China (ChAFTA). The Agreement addresses a number of important IP related issues and also sets out bilateral obligations to promote trade and investment in healthcare. Intellectual Property Chapter 11 of the ChAFTA aims …

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ATMOsphere – Trade Marks Office Decisions – January to March 2015

ATMOsphere: Our trade mark series of posts summarising what has been happening in the world of Trade Marks Office decisions. Here, we aim to provide a high level summary of those decisions and to provide an interesting and useful snapshot of the previous months of decisions. Better a little late than never, we bring you the summary of decisions from …

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What’s in a name? (Try to) Keep up with the Kardashians

Here at IP Whiteboard, we learnt the power of a celebrity name when one of our posts got roughly 20 times more hits than we expected (and crashed the site in the process). Why? While we like to think the combination of on-trend pop culture knowledge and cutting edge legal analysis really drew readers in, ultimately it was the celebrity …

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