Popping prosecco’s bubble: geographical indications and the prosecco war

As we leave the holiday season behind us, let’s “wine” down and discuss the latest saga in Australia’s wine industry. In 2019 Australia’s free trade negotiations reached a fizzing point when the EU asked Australia to honour Prosecco as a geographic indication (“GI”) of Northern Italy. Honouring Prosecco as a GI would prohibit local wine read more...

Australian Plant Breeders’ Rights to be significantly strengthened

The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 1 and Other Measures) Bill 2018 seeks to introduce yet further changes aimed at improving Australia’s intellectual property laws.  The proposed amendments to the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act, 1994 cover many key aspects of Australia’s plant breeders’ rights regime and are expected to have a significant impact read more...

P*interest? Pyntrest? Pinterest not the owner of its name in the EU

If a recent EU trade mark ruling is upheld, crafty DIY-ers, Martha Stewart wannabes and eager wedding planners could find themselves “pinning” images to a social media platform with a name other than “Pinterest”. This is the result of a recent decision by the Opposition Division of the EU Office for Harmonisation in the Internal read more...

Advertising Standards Board determinations – the last 12 months in review

The past 12 months has certainly been a dynamic time for the Advertising Standards Board – 2012/13 saw the Board having to make determinations in the relatively unchartered waters of social media, ‘sexting’, Gen Y acronyms and iPhone Apps! Leading up to this period, the ASB commissioned a report by Colmar Brunton which found that read more...

‘I will’ protect this brand – will Under Armour Just do it?

In late April 2013, Nike submitted their response to Under Armour’s lawsuit with respect to its ‘I will’ registered trade mark. Under Armour’s complaint filed in February in the District Court of Maryland, alleged Nike’s latest #MAKEITCOUNT campaign advertising materials containing the phrase ‘I will…’ constituted trade mark infringement, trade mark dilution and unfair competition. read more...

Will filming Times Square now require negotiating with hundreds of copyright owners?

On 8 April 2013, The Motion Picture Association of America, along with the International Documentary Association and Film Independent, filed an amicus brief[1], supporting the NFL in their fight against (the very litigious!) Frederick Bouchat. Bouchat’s fight with the NFL and the Ravens (an NFL team) started many years ago in 1996, when he sent read more...
Subjects: Copyright | Media

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Use it or Lose it – a bitter storm brews for heritage beer brands

In a dispute that many (from beer lovers to IP lawyers) have been following, a decision on Foster’s ownership of 60 trade marks of heritage beers by IP Australia is expected by July 2013. The dispute centres on approximately 60 of Foster’s trade marks, such as as Ballarat Bitter, McCracken’s, Brisbane Bitter, Kent Old Brown, read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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Battle of the brands questions retailers’ exclusivity agreements

It is no secret that Australian department stores operate in a tough competitive landscape.  One of the major weapons in their artillery is their ability to provide exclusive access to certain brands. This is secured by exclusivity agreements with designers that restrict designers’ ability to supply their wares to rival department stores. This exclusive brand read more...
Subjects: Contracts

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Justice Tracey found there was no Flattery in Seafolly’s bikini designs

We aren’t suggesting Justice Tracey believes Seafolly bikinis are unflattering when worn… We’re referring to his recent Federal Court decision where the designer of “White Sands” swimwear was fined $25,000 for public comments which ‘questioned’ whether Seafolly copied White Sands’ designs. What lessons can we take from this case? Check your facts before you post read more...