Ungentlemanly conduct? Jack Wills v The House of Fraser in battle of British bird brands

In Jack Wills Ltd v House of Fraser (Stores) Ltd [2014] EWHC 110, Arnold J has held that House of Fraser’s use of a pigeon logo on clothing products infringes Jack Wills trade mark registration for its Mr Wills logo. The decision underscores the value of registering logos as trade marks, and provides additional support (if it was needed at …

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Coca-Cola v PepsiCo in New Zealand – infringement action based on contour bottle mark registrations fails

In The Coca-Cola Company v Frucor Soft Drinks Limited [2013] NZHC 3282 (10 December 2013), Wylie J of New Zealand’s High Court has dismissed trade mark infringement claims levelled by Coca-Cola against Frucor, bottler and distributor of PepsiCo products in New Zealand (I generally refer to the Pepsi parties as PepsiCo below). The decision amply demonstrates the “territoriality” principle, namely …

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King.com is King of ‘Candy’: Candy Crush Saga Developer Granted US Trade Mark

Candy Crush Saga, the brightly-coloured and highly addictive social game, followed the lead of other popular games, such as Angry Birds, to become an online phenomenon of its own. As one of the most popular online games and phone apps, it is no wonder that its developer, King.com Limited, has recognised the value of protecting its brand (they’re not alone – see …

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US Net Neutrality Overturned: the recent Court of Appeals decision and what it means for Australia

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia Circuit (“Court of Appeals”) ruled on Tuesday 14 January 2013 that the US Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) rules on net neutrality are invalid.  The decision has again stirred the debate as to whether Australia should regulate for net neutrality. Net neutrality Net neutrality is the term commonly given to …

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LMFAO may be shufflin’ to court for copyright infringement: sorry for party rocking?

Hustlin’ hip hop rapper Rick Ross, together with music producers “The Runners” are suing shufflin’ electropop rappers LMFAO, Kobalt Music Publishing and Kia Motors America for copyright infringement over 2011 chart topping hit “Party Rock Anthem” from LMFAO’s album “Sorry for Party Rocking”.     The Complaint, filed by William L. Roberts, II (aka Rick Ross) and Andrew Harr and Jermaine …

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Safari Snorkel mark distinctive overall – but is it a pyrrhic victory?

Ironman 4×4 Pty Ltd v Australian Performance Development Pty Ltd [2013] ATMO 107 (23 December 2013) In a case involving the rarefied world of air rams and air intake snorkels for vehicles, an opposition against the composite mark below (featuring the words SAFARI SNORKEL) has failed. The grounds pressed before Hearing Officer Jock McDonagh were lack of distinctiveness (s41) and …

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Meme money: New currency wears sunglasses

The explosion of interest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has continued to expand. The latest is Coinye, inspired by rapper Kanye West. We take you through its rapid rise, evolution into a half-man-half-fish hybrid and sudden fall after Kanye West sued the developers.

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The (Latest) Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: A small win for the public domain

We investigate the District Court of Illinois decision Klinger v Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd., confirming that literary characters can be freely used without a licence where copyright has expired on early works in a series. Character elements introduced in later works which are still subject to copyright cannot be used without a licence.

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Patent settlements are up and anti-competitive behaviour is down: EU

Patent settlements are up and anti-competitive settlement behaviour is down in the European Union. The European Commission recently released a report on patent settlement agreements between originator and generic companies in the European pharmaceutical sector which shows a continued low level (7% in 2012) of potentially anti-competitive settlements. The report is the fourth of its kind since the Commission’s competition …

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