“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...

Domain name disputes and the onus of truth

Avid readers of this blog might be aware of the au Dispute Resolution Policy (the “auDRP”). The purpose of the auDRP is to provide a cheaper, speedier, alternative to litigation for the resolution of dispute between the registrant of a domain name and a party claiming competing rights in that domain name. The auDRP is read more...

Six lessons for #hashtags, social media campaigns and trade marks – #FreeCheeseFriday trade mark registered for UK social media campaign

By Anna Spies and Damien MacRae HURRAY! It’s #freecheesefriday! Follow & RT to WIN some of our delicious award-winning cheddar TODAY! pic.twitter.com/w1s2yhGtDC — Wyke Farms (@wykefarms) September 26, 2014 Everyone loves a good cheddar cheese. This is no less so in the UK, where over 25,000 people each month are entering the “Free Cheese Friday” read more...
Subjects: Social media | Trade marks

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Should we #RenameISIS? When trade marks attack

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” – Shakespeare What if roses, instead of being called “roses”, were called “stink bells”?  Would they smell as sweet?  What if they were called “crapweed” or “stench blossoms”, as Bart Simpson famously suggested? What about if they read more...

CANARY WHARF trade mark rejected for being 30 years too late! Protect your valuable property names as trade marks at conception

Branded real estate in the industrial, commercial and residential markets is big business. The brand adopted can influence perception and price. It is no surprise then that developers are increasingly taking steps to protect these brands by registering them as trade marks. We recently discussed some legal developments for these kinds of brands (including shopping read more...

IP & Competition Law…a match made in reform heaven?

Yesterday, the Competition Policy Review Panel released its Draft Report on the effectiveness of Australia’s current competition policy and laws, and its recommendations for the promotion of competition across the economy. Our colleagues over at In Competition published this brief post here and a more detailed alert here, focusing on the broader aspects of competition read more...

Can a computer decide whether two business names are “nearly identical”?

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal decided at the end of August 2014 that the prior registration of “Melbourne Children’s Psychology Clinic” as a business name prevented the registration of “Melbourne Child Psychology” and “Melbourne Child Psychology Services” because the latter names were “nearly identical” to the former. Whilst the decision traversed issues of the kind familiar read more...