Treatment of two and three-colour marks in Australia, New Zealand and the EU – some recent cases – Part 1 – the 7-Eleven stripes

We have all read with interest case law relating to single colour marks. Three recent decisions have considered the registrability of colour marks of a slightly different variety, namely signs said to comprise a combination, depiction or arrangement of a number of colours. 7-Eleven – NZ Discount Drugstores – AU August Storck – EU These cases can raise definitional issues …

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Bieber Fever running high, “is it too late now to say I’m SORRY?” – allegations of copyright infringement against The Biebs (aka Justin Bieber)

Indie artist, Casey Dienel, who goes by the name of “White Hinterland”, is suing Justin Bieber and producer, Skrillex (as well as the other songwriters) for alleged copyright infringement in relation to Bieber’s hit and annoyingly catchy song “Sorry” (you know the song where The Biebs is singing about Selena Gomez – you can listen to it here). Dienel claims …

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What’s the Big Deal with Big Data? The OAIC’s Guide to big data and the Australia Privacy Principles

The Office of the Information Commissioner (“OAIC”) has released a consultation draft Guide to big data and the Australian Privacy Principles (the “Guide”). The draft Guide has been released at a time when many Australian businesses are exploring the potential of Big Data analysis for their business, and are grappling for the first time with some of the associated data …

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An “all or nothing” approach to trade mark opposition proceedings in Australia?

A Hearing Officer at IP Australia recently upheld McDonald’s opposition against the mark McKosher in respect of a broad range of goods and services in classes 29, 30, 32 and 43. McDonald’s demonstrated a reputation in Australia in various earlier Mc-formative trade marks such that there was a likelihood of contextual confusion. The McKosher mark was “of the same conceptual …

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WIN v Nine: Bumping shoulders as the internet grows more crowded

Prepared by:    Michael Swinson and Helena Kanton Australia’s major media companies are increasingly bumping shoulders as technology convergence brings them into closer competition with one another. The Internet has become a new common battleground for broadcasters, newspapers and new market entrants like Netflix and other streaming service providers all competing for the same eyeballs. In the most recent shoulder bump, …

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Productivity Commission recommends extensive changes to Australian IP – including fair use, circumventing geoblocks, abolishing business method and software patents and more!

Today, the Productivity Commission has released its draft report into Australia’s intellectual property arrangements. IP Whiteboard readers may recall that last year, the Federal Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a comprehensive review of Australia’s intellectual property system (see our previous post here). At 600 pages, the draft report is certainly comprehensive! We have published an alert summarising the …

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Can I use a competitor’s name or trade marks for Google AdWords?

This question is often asked by companies considering ways to funnel internet traffic to their own website by diverting internet users seeking to access a competitor’s website. A single judge of the Federal Court has found that the use of a competitor’s trade mark as a keyword in Google AdWords is neither trade mark infringement nor likely to mislead or …

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Aristocrat v Global Gaming – it’s all fun and games until someone infringes a trade mark

The Federal Court’s decision in Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd v Global Gaming Supplies Pty Ltd [2016] FCAFC marks the end* of a long-running dispute between the Aristocrat Technologies group and Global Gaming Supplies, Impact Gaming and Tonia Enterprises. *hopefully The Aristocrat group and its trade marks The Aristocrat group supplies gaming technologies and services to the international gaming industry. …

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No Flex Zone – Federal Court sends Australian company packing over trade mark dispute

For readers who are fond of a good deli selection, discussions of the chemical composition of plastics, or interesting trade mark issues (or all three) – this one’s for you. The Applicant, Flexopack S.A. Plastics Industry, is a Greek company which sells and distributes thermoplastic food packaging films around the world under the trade mark “Flexopack”. The Applicant has various …

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