A failure to function? It’s not unusual. Beer and bikini cases highlight the limitations of sub-brands in Australian trade mark cases

It seems apt in the current climatic context that a number of recent Australian trade mark decisions have centred on swimwear and craft beer. Is my brand even … a brand? One of the more difficult and nuanced issues in trade mark law is whether a particular sign is being used in a trade mark read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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HOUSE HUNTERS – favourable treatment of TV show titles at the EUIPO Board of Appeal level

Ahhhh, I love the smell of a freshly printed EUIPO absolute grounds case in the morning! Often the most interesting decisions are those relatively rare beasts in which the initial examination objection is overturned by the Board. In a recent decision, the 4th Board of Appeal had to consider the registrability of HOUSE HUNTERS in read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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Empire State (of mind) – noisy bars, brand shortening and obscured presentation – Mr Purvis QC speaks!

As you will know from previous posts (see here and here), when Appointed Persons speak, we listen! One of our favourites, it has to be said, is Mr Iain Purvis QC. He has a knack of getting straight to the point, with clear and memorable turns of phrase. Indeed one often finds oneself (if one read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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Hand over the ouzo and no one gets hurt – Little Greek Taverna enjoins use of Little Greek Cuzina, and a Cheeky restaurant case from the UK

The owner of a registration for the LITTLE GREEK TAVERNA logo (below left) has obtained an interlocutory injunction enjoining the use of LITTLE GREEK CUZINA (below right) by two Brisbane restaurants*.          The facts 3 Florinians Pty Ltd (Taverna) is a family business run by its directors, Ms Elli Parmaklis, Ms Domna Papavasiliou read more...

Another case considering t-shirt branding. Has Silberquelle been transplanted into Australian law?

The Australian airline Qantas has had its opposition against the “t-shirt” mark below rejected by the Federal Court (Qantas Airways Limited v Edwards [2016] FCA 729). (Edwards’ Mark) The decision makes interesting reading in a number of respects, but this note only considers a discreet issue. Is use on a t-shirt trade mark use? If read more...

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 read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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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 read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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Low or no similarity between marks a matter of semantics – the UK RA case and a call to adopt an avenue of appeal to Appointed Persons under Australian trade marks practice?

It is no secret that decisions of Appointed Persons (AP) of the UKIPO occupy a special place in our hearts here at IP Whiteboard. Who or what are Appointed Persons? Following a first instance decision from a Hearing Officer of the UKIPO in a trade mark matter, there are two avenues of appeal: (a) the read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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