Six lessons for #hashtags, social media campaigns and trade marks – #FreeCheeseFriday trade mark registered for UK social media campaign

By Anna Spies and Damien MacRae HURRAY! It’s #freecheesefriday! Follow & RT to WIN some of our delicious award-winning cheddar TODAY! pic.twitter.com/w1s2yhGtDC — Wyke Farms (@wykefarms) September 26, 2014 Everyone loves a good cheddar cheese. This is no less so in the UK, where over 25,000 people each month are entering the “Free Cheese Friday” competition, run by Wyke Farms, …

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Should we #RenameISIS? When trade marks attack

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” – Shakespeare What if roses, instead of being called “roses”, were called “stink bells”?  Would they smell as sweet?  What if they were called “crapweed” or “stench blossoms”, as Bart Simpson famously suggested? What about if they were called “ISIS”? Unfortunately, this …

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CANARY WHARF trade mark rejected for being 30 years too late! Protect your valuable property names as trade marks at conception

Branded real estate in the industrial, commercial and residential markets is big business. The brand adopted can influence perception and price. It is no surprise then that developers are increasingly taking steps to protect these brands by registering them as trade marks. We recently discussed some legal developments for these kinds of brands (including shopping centres) here. An even more …

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Privacy and employee records – CP and Dept of Defence

The Privacy Commissioner’s determination in the matter of CP and the Department of Defence illustrates one significant difference in the treatment of federal agencies and private sector organisations under the federal Privacy Act. This case involved an employee of the department who had made a claim for worker’s compensation in respect of an injury alleged to be work-related. The department …

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Possessory liens over IP or data

I recently caught up on some UK legal developments, and was struck by a decision which held that the English common law did not recognise a lien over intangible property. Much of what the Court of Appeal had to say in its decision is likely to be influential in Australia. The case involved two parties who had entered into a …

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IP & Competition Law…a match made in reform heaven?

Yesterday, the Competition Policy Review Panel released its Draft Report on the effectiveness of Australia’s current competition policy and laws, and its recommendations for the promotion of competition across the economy. Our colleagues over at In Competition published this brief post here and a more detailed alert here, focusing on the broader aspects of competition policy reform canvassed in the …

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Can a computer decide whether two business names are “nearly identical”?

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal decided at the end of August 2014 that the prior registration of “Melbourne Children’s Psychology Clinic” as a business name prevented the registration of “Melbourne Child Psychology” and “Melbourne Child Psychology Services” because the latter names were “nearly identical” to the former. Whilst the decision traversed issues of the kind familiar to any practitioner with some …

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Negotiating the perils and pitfalls of corporate social media: a lesson from Madden v Seafolly

Online social media is now widely acknowledged as the new frontier of corporate communications.  Indeed, nearly 80 per cent of large companies now use social media to connect with their customers.  Having an online presence has become effectively mandatory, but with that comes a range of risks, including in relation to potentially misleading or defamatory statements. The recent decision in …

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Jack Wills, McDonald’s, Bunnings v Masters, Tesco, Cadbury, Coke v Pepsi and much, much more – 15 recent case “bites” and 5 tips on brand protection in the retail space for 2014 so far

2014 has been a topsy-turvy year so far in the retail and FMCG spaces in terms of trade mark decisions in Australia, New Zealand and the UK and EU. It is worth looking at a few recent decisions to help guide big and not-so-big names with their brand protection strategies. You win some … In the “battle of the bird …

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