Overturned (in part) – Trident Seafoods Corporation v Trident Foods Pty Limited

This decision suggests a more flexible approach to the question of authorised use than that indicated by Lodestar, as well as to the exercise of the Registrar’s discretion to refuse removal despite non‑use. It also provides guidance as to the Court’s view on corporate entities who share the same directors acting with an agreed ‘unity of purpose’ despite being separate legal persons. read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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Trouble in paradise! The ‘Bula’ debate and the importance of cultural sensitivity in registering trade marks

The word ‘Bula’ translates to ‘life’. When used as a greeting by the people of Fiji, bula signifies wishes for longevity and good health.  ‘Bula’ is commonly heard in Fiji, and is usually coupled with the beaming smiles of friendly Fijian people.  However, there were less smiles in September last year when news spread that read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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Domain name disputes: Will the President play his trump card again?

The Trump Organisation owns a lot of domain names – around 3,000, for everything from <TrumpOnTheRocks.com> to <TrumpRussia.com>.  Unfortunately for the President, this impressive portfolio doesn’t include <TrumpHotels.org>. Golf enthusiasts, honeymooners and high-powered executives wanting to stay at one of Trump’s 11 hotels will not find what they are looking for at <TrumpHotels.org>.  The website read more...

Formula One and now the Australian Grand Prix Corporation look to cash in – the big Huey shoey bluey

Update: The Australian Grand Prix corporation assigned its Australian trade mark application to Formula One Licensing B.V. on 16 May 2018. You might have heard of the shadow boxing match between the Formula One’s licensing arm and The Mad Hueys – well, as of 2 May 2018, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation has decided to 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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Beer in the clear: Full Federal Court declares no prohibition on ‘Pacific Ale’ trade mark

Trouble brewing In the past few years the Australian craft beer market has experienced significant growth, with hundreds of independent breweries springing up around the country.   But competition is not always friendly and in 2015 trouble began brewing between two interstate rivals, Stone & Wood and Elixir.  The dispute eventually spilled over into the courts, read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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AMG meats its maker: Australian Meat Holdings protect a fair dinkum mark

The Federal Court has found that the Australian Meat Group (AMG) has infringed the trade mark of one of Australia’s largest meat producers. The Court also narrowly applied the substantial identity test, bucking the trend of some recent decisions which indicated that the Court may be widening the scope of the assessment. Long ago, the read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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