High Court to decide whether regulator can determine if a broadcasting service has been used in the commission of an offence

The legal consequences of the prank call made in December 2012 in which Australian radio announcers called a hospital in London pretending to be Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles asking after the health of the Duchess of Cambridge are still to be determined. On 15 August 2014 the High Court of Australia decided that it would grant special leave …

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“D’oh!” The Simpsons are sued for Homer’s hologram

You may be familiar with Comic-Con, a worldwide organization that runs conventions for comic fans, made famous by geeks in dress up and legendary guest stars. Well, last month’s San Diego Comic-Con was made famous for another reason – a holographic appearance by Homer Simpson has led to The Simpsons being sued for patent infringement. D’oh indeed. On 26 July …

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8 things you need to do now that Facebook has banned “like-gating”

“Like our page!” is a phrase you see a lot on Facebook.  But following a change to Facebook’s Platform Policy last week, you may not see it as much.  Great news for users, but maybe not-so-great news for those businesses relying on like-gates to gain traction on Facebook.  Here are 8 things that all businesses on Facebook will want to think about now …

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Milk-crate-gate, or, is there really no such thing as an original idea?

It’s not often that a milk crate makes national news headlines, but social media is now abuzz over claims of possible copyright infringement involving this ordinarily innocuous object. Australian artist Jarrad Kennedy has raised a cyber-eyebrow over the similarities between his 2005 McLelland Sculpture Prize entry and Hany Armanious’ Pavillion, a 13.7 metre high piece of public art soon to …

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Lies, damned lies and social media coverage of trade mark disputes – the TV programme previously known as “Glee”?

Remember when you could rely on social media for fair, unbiased and objective coverage of the news? Me neither. The facts did not get in the way of a good story when a virtual Twitter-storm erupted over the weekend around the tv show GLEE having to change its name in the UK. But is this a foregone conclusion? No. It …

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Telco and database services, comparison sites, and shopping centres – courts increasingly taking a modern view on trade mark specifications, but will the registries follow their lead?

Brand protection is not always as straightforward as it should be. For one thing, even once you have chosen your brand, you need to draft a specification that covers what you do and/or propose to do. This is a simple exercise if you are a t-shirt company, but can be a tricky business for service providers in evolving (and even …

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Review of the Innovation Patent System Final Report

The Australian Government Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (“ACIP”) has recently recommended several changes to the innovation patent system in Australia. The key recommendations include raising the threshold for “innovative step”; excluding processes from patentability as innovation patents; examination and certification being a precondition to using the term “patent”; and requiring examination to be requested within three years. ACIP was …

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BP loses colour trade mark battle

In a battle now spanning over a decade, another colour trade mark application filed by BP (this time for the shade Pantone 348C) has been rejected by Australia’s Trade Marks Office. The Hearing Officer found that while Australian consumers associate the colour green with BP, there was no convincing evidence that consumers distinguish the BP brand based on the applied-for …

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US Supreme Court rules Aereo TV streaming service infringes copyright

By Ian Ranson and Anna Spies On Wednesday 25 June 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a greatly anticipated copyright decision. In a 6-3 decision, the Court found that the Aereo TV service, which allows subscribers to stream free-to-air television broadcasts over the internet, infringed copyright in television programs. In commentary and in the media since …

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