Tom Cruise proves Risky Business for gossip mags

In late 2012, Life & Style and In Touch magazines published headlines indicating Tom Cruise had abandoned his daughter Suri. Most people might dismiss such articles as minority reports. However, Cruise has filed a Complaint in the District Court of California for defamation and invasion of privacy. He’s asking that the publisher of the magazines show him the money, to …

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#IntellectualProperty trending on Twitter: Considering IP in the age of the hashtag

Social media has transformed the ‘hash’ symbol (#) from a mere symbol key into a phenomenon of its own. Yet the addition of the # symbol before a word has not been so simple in the IP world and has many potential implications. For the uninitiated, let’s have a look at the hashtag’s capability. First, the hashtag operates as a …

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How to prevent your “ordinary” letter of demand from becoming a Social Media Backlash

Remember the old days of sending a hard copy letter of demand which only a few people (at most) were destined to see?  Well, haven’t times changed! Now, it is crucial to consider how best to minimise the prospect that your demand will go ‘viral’.  None of us want our correspondence to spark reputational issues for the client beyond the …

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The internet just got bigger: Further developments in the gTLD space

New domain spaces are in the process of being introduced.  Over the past few weeks, the first “sunrise” periods have opened for new domain name spaces called generic top-level domains (gTLDs).  ICANN has also delegated the first four of its new gTLDs by introducing them into the Internet’s Root Zone. Businesses and brand owners should take care to make sure …

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Trade marks wars: Louboutin’s red soled stilettos are back in the spotlight

The trade mark wars for Louboutin continue, this time in an intriguing dispute in Belgium concerning the use of the iconic shoes on a poster for political advertising.  Here’s what happened…. What are the facts behind the case? Recently in Belgium’s Antwerp Court, Louboutin claimed that the Vlaams Belang party infringed its registered trade mark for the colour red (Pantone …

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Pinterest pins down Pintrips

On 4 October 2013, social media pinboard site Pinterest filed an action in the United States District Court against Pintrips, “a personal travel planning dashboard”, for trade mark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition and trade mark dilution.  This apparently followed months of polite requests from Pinterest to Pintrips to stop this alleged “illegal conduct”.  Not all these causes …

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‘Mickey Mouse’ horror film escapes trade mark litigation

Film buffs, roll up! Despite the fact that it probably isn’t showing at your local MegaPlex, Randy Moore’s latest indie horror film ‘Escape from Tomorrow’ has garnered a considerable amount of media attention. Shot on Disney soil without permission, it features iconic (and copyrighted) Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck doing things like attempting to crush a child, …

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Nestlé wins latest battle with Cadbury over the colour purple in the UK

On 4 October 2013, the Court of Appeal of England & Wales upheld an appeal brought by Nestlé in relation to Cadbury’s application to register the colour purple as a trade mark in respect of the packaging of chocolate. Whilst Cadbury’s application was for a specific shade of the colour purple (namely, Cadbury’s famous Pantone 2685C), the Court of Appeal …

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OAIC releases privacy ‘better practice guide’ for mobile app developers

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has been busy of late.  As well as releasing the second stage of its Draft Australian Privacy Principles Guidelines for consultation in late September, it recently sent an open letter to Facebook, which we posted about here. However, it’s not very often that we see regulators encouraging the use of graphics, colour and …

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