You can’t have your burger and eat it too: In-N-Out Burgers, Inc v Hashtag Burgers Pty Ltd

Whilst In-N-Out don’t operate any permanent restaurants in Australia – only pop-ups, as we lamented in our previous post – the Federal Court ruled last week that its registered trade marks had been infringed by local chain “Down-N-Out” (DNO) and that In-N-Out had a sufficient reputation in Australia such that DNO was found to be read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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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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Gotta catch ‘em all – Pokémon Company International, Inc. v Redbubble Ltd

In the battle against copyright infringement in the online world, rights holders are increasingly targeting aggregators and disseminators of infringing content, rather than doing battle with individual infringers themselves. In a recent example of this, Pokémon Company International (Pokémon) won in their Federal Court pursuit of copyright infringement claims and breach of consumer protection laws read more...
Subjects: Copyright | Trade marks

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In Good Shape – the Federal Court’s reminder to fit-out and shape your trade mark protection

In the recent case of Shape Shopfitters Pty Ltd v Shape Australia Pty Ltd (No 3) [2017] FCA 865, the Federal Court of Australia considered whether certain marks that included the word “SHAPE” were deceptively similar: Applicant’s registered mark   Respondent’s marks Although a large proportion of the decision focused on whether there had been read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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Rock, racism and the Constitution: the US Supreme Court takes a different slant on trade marks

America! It’s a land of flags, Twinkies, NASCAR. and Constitutional amendments.  Matal v Tam (PDF) is the most recent warning not to get between an American and any of those things. The case concerned the application by a “new-wave dance rock” band to register their band name as a trade mark. Ordinarily, the US Patent and read more...

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...