Can you keep a secret? Good, so can I.

Confidentiality has seldom before been more challenged than it is at present, by the emergence of the internet phenomenon Wikileaks (http://wikileaks.org).

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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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Can’t you take a joke? UK defamation case offers guidance on when the Courts will be amused

The Australian parody/satire fair dealing defence to copyright infringement was introduced in December 2006 (s 41A of the Copyright Act ).  But does anyone really know what it covers?  Humour is subjective, and there is a dearth of relevant case law in this country.  Of course, the parody/satire defence doesn’t require a piece to be funny per se (although such a requirement could lead to interesting courtroom debates), and the nature of parody implies that the piece must at least be comedic in nature.

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New two-tier Federal Court

The Government has announced a restructure of the Federal Courts system, which will expand the Federal Court’s IP jurisdiction.

The Federal Magistrates’ Court will be merged into the Federal Court and the Family Court, so that all IP disputes will be heard at first instance in the Federal Court.  The new Federal Court will have two tiers:

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Piracy under fire

Between July 2005 and May 2006, The Pirate Bay website provided a filesharing service utilising the BitTorrent file transfer protocol.  This protocol involves dividing a principal file (eg a MP3 music file) into segments, which can be identified and accessed by locating small “torrent” files containing metadata about the file to be shared and the computer distributing it.

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It’s easy (and quick) being green – UK to fast-track green patent applications

The United Kingdom has launched an initiative where ‘green’ or environmentally friendly technology can be fast-tracked through the patent application process.  The scheme was launched on 12 May by UK Minister for IP, David Lammy, in a bid to support inventions that may assist in combating climate change.  Under the new scheme, the time for a patent application to progress to grant may be reduced from the usual two to three years to just nine months.

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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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eBay victorious in French battle over counterfeit L’Oreal products

Cosmetics giant L’Oreal launched a trade mark infringement action in France against the online auction house in September 2007, alleging that eBay was not doing enough to combat transactions involving fake L’Oreal perfumes.  Judge Elisabeth Belfort last week ruled in eBay’s favour, finding that eBay had fulfilled its obligation towards other market operators (including L’Oreal) in good faith, by developing eBay’s current anti-counterfeiting measures.  Despite this, Judge Belfort ordered both companies to mediation in order to jointly develop a plan for improvi

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