EU-US privacy safe harbor no longer safe

Our European colleagues have summarised the recent decision of the European Court of Justice dealing with the EU-US privacy safe harbor.  This is a big deal – the US Secretary of Commerce has been quoted as saying that the decision “puts at risk the thriving trans-Atlantic digital economy”. The plaintiff in the case, Mr Schrems, objected to Facebook Ireland transferring …

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High Court re-invents the test for patentable subject matter and finds the patent for the isolated breast cancer gene invalid

The High Court has handed down a significant decision finding that patent claims for isolated gene sequences, indicative of a predisposition to breast cancer, are not patentable subject matter. The decision can be found here (a one page summary has also been published by the High Court). The decision overturns the unanimous decision of the Full Federal Court (which sat …

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The Dancing Baby case: considering fair use before sending a copyright take-down notice – implications for Australia

There has been a lot of talk lately about the “Dancing Baby” lawsuit (a.k.a Lenz v Universal Music Corp). For those readers who haven’t heard of the case, the basic story will be relatively familiar: a video, uploaded to YouTube, was then removed pursuant what is known as a “DMCA takedown notice” following an allegation of copyright infringement raised by …

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Malt trade mark teasers – the lighter way to enjoy chocolate

The Federal Court of Australia has allowed Delfi Chocolate Manufacturing S.A.’s appeal of the opposition to its MALTITOS trade mark application by Mars Australia Pty Ltd. The MALTITOS trade mark was filed by Delfi Chocolate in Class 30 for ‘Confectionery; biscuits; chocolate; cocoa; products made from or including chocolate and/or cocoa’. Mars successfully opposed the application in December before the …

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(Street) Art Buff: More avenues for the protection of graffiti works

In a previous post (here), IP Whiteboard discussed the potential avenues that a street artist may have in protecting their work from defacement or removal by recourse to intellectual property rights. Although the City of Sydney is still yet to introduce its revised street art policy, we thought that last week’s judgment of the UK High Court in The Creative …

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You’re monkey me crazy! Copyright, selfies and…monkeys?

We don’t waste any time with monkey business over here at IP Whiteboard…until it involves one of our favourite stories of recent times, combining our love of selfies with copyright and cute animals. This story is of course the tale of wildlife photographer David Slater, who claimed copyright ownership over some selfies taken by macaque monkeys in Indonesia using his camera …

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Australian Department of Immigration data breach – another court decision

Data security breaches can cause much more than financial harm to affected individuals. In February 2014 the Australian Department of Immigration accidentally disclosed personal information about almost 10,000 asylum seekers. The asylum seekers became concerned that if their request for asylum was denied and they were removed from Australia to their country of origin, they may face persecution if the …

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Can you perceive it? Breakthrough for Nestle 4 finger shape mark – CJEU speaks on test for acquired distinctiveness

Study trade mark law, they said. It will be easy, they said … Don’t you believe it. We go on about it all the time here at IP Whiteboard: trade mark law is incredibly nuanced. A recent example of this is the decision from Europe’s highest court (the CJEU) relating to our beloved Kit Kat 4-finger shape mark (shown below). …

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Be careful if you wanna GUCCI GUCCI, ya ya, da da…

At IP Whiteboard, we love our brands – especially our luxury fashion brands (see our post on Louboutin here). Back in 2013, we reported on the battle of the brands, Guccio Gucci SpA (“Gucci”) and Guess Inc (“Guess”) (see our post here). To refresh your memory, Gucci and Guess have been battling it out over their trade marks all over …

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