Soft Kitty, Same Kitty: The Big Bang Theory sued for copyright infringement… Bazinga

Over Christmas, the producers of The Big Bang Theory (amongst others) received a rather unwelcome gift – their now-famous Soft Kitty lullaby has become the subject of a copyright infringement claim. The daughters of Edith Newlin, a New Hampshire nursery school teacher, claim the show has copied their mother’s 1933 poem, Warm Kitty, without their mother’s permission. For those of …

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Are search results defamatory? Google’s not feeling lucky

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but search results can hurt you? At least, that seems to be way the Australian courts have been leaning. In the latest in a series of cases against Google, Google was unsuccessful in its bid to set aside a writ and statement of claim alleging defamation by their search results. The person bringing …

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500 versions of software – when is a new version of software original and when does copyright subsist?

The Full Court, in its recent decision JR Consulting & Drafting Pty Limited v Cummings [2016] FCAFC 20 tackled some difficult questions of subsistence of copyright and originality. Considering the circumstance where an original work has been altered by a number of changes that are insubstantial in the context of the foundation work, the Full Court asked: Is the text …

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Lights, camera, action! – will ‘revenge porn’ victims finally have a cause of action to sue offenders?

The Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee (“Committee”), in an inquiry into the worldwide phenomenon known as ‘revenge porn’, made recommendations last week that acts of ‘revenge porn’ should be made a crime on Commonwealth and State levels. But ‘revenge porn’ scandals are only for the J-Laws and Kim Kardashians of the world right? Apparently not.

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Copyright and the US primaries: From Adele to Neil Young, why do artists keep getting Berned by politicians?

From Trump to Clinton to Cruz, there is no presidential campaign that doesn’t involve the candidate strutting onto the stage to an ‘inspirational’ song. But what if the artist is not ok with the politicians encouraging voters to ‘Feel the Bern’ or ‘Make America Great Again’ with their tune?

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Kylie Minogue takes on Kylie Jenner – what happens when two celebrities have the same name?

We all love a good post about the Kardashians (see here). Last time we blogged about the Jenner sisters (Kendall and Kylie) applying for trade mark applications in the US for their first names, as well as the phrase “Kendall and Kylie”. Well, since our last post, the USPTO accepted the application and hot-pants-Kylie (Minogue) has now filed an opposition against …

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Dallas Buyers Club – end of a chapter?

The Dallas Buyers Club application appears to have drawn to an end, and with it another chapter in rights holders’ attempts to respond to file sharing. In December 2015, Justice Perram of the Federal Court rejected a further attempt to obtain customer details, after previously requiring undertakings and a bond before preliminary discovery would be ordered (see our post on …

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And the copyright changes keep coming – safe harbour, fair dealing and more

If copyright lawyers hadn’t already had a busy enough year in 2015 with the introduction of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act 2015, they were in for a special holiday treat when the Department of Communications and the Arts released some more interesting draft amendments to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (“the Act”) for public comment on Christmas Eve. Among other …

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Low or no similarity between marks a matter of semantics – the UK RA case and a call to adopt an avenue of appeal to Appointed Persons under Australian trade marks practice?

It is no secret that decisions of Appointed Persons (AP) of the UKIPO occupy a special place in our hearts here at IP Whiteboard. Who or what are Appointed Persons? Following a first instance decision from a Hearing Officer of the UKIPO in a trade mark matter, there are two avenues of appeal: (a) the High Court and (b) the …

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