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 read more...

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 read more...

What’s in a name? (Try to) Keep up with the Kardashians

Here at IP Whiteboard, we learnt the power of a celebrity name when one of our posts got roughly 20 times more hits than we expected (and crashed the site in the process). Why? While we like to think the combination of on-trend pop culture knowledge and cutting edge legal analysis really drew readers in, read more...

Disney’s “Frozen” in copyright dispute – filmmaker can’t Let it Go

Question: What do these things have in common? a snowman loses his carrot nose, and it slides out to the middle of a frozen pond; the snowman is on one side of the pond and an animal who covets the nose is on the other; the characters engage in a contest to get to the read more...

What’s in a name? Saks v “Snaks” trade mark dispute

 (Unfortunately, not for human consumption. Some of the treats available from “Snaks 5th Avenchew”.) They say dogs are (wo)man’s best friend, but apparently the team over at Saks 5th Avenue missed the memo. The luxury U.S. department store had a less than friendly reaction to discovering a small online business retailing specialty canine and equine read more...

“HOW” does matter – ethics company sues yoghurt

Imagine this: you’re a best-selling author and CEO. You’ve spent years building your brand, working hard to distil it down to one word, “HOW”, which you’ve registered as a trade mark. You host a meeting with a prospective client, an advertising agency, during which you discuss “HOW” and its meaning. A few months go by, read more...

Storm in a Coffee Cup – Starbucks v “Charbucks”

In the latest instalment in a long-running trade mark battle in the United States, the US Court of Appeals has upheld a decision that the use of “Charbucks” in relation to coffee did not violate Starbucks’ registered trade marks. In 1997, U.S. Black Bear Micro Roastery (whose coffee is apparently unusually darkly roasted) developed a read more...

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 read more...
Subjects: Defamation | Media

‘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 read more...