“No one can own the law” – United States confirms copyright protection does not extend to works of legislators or judges

On 27 April 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) handed down its decision in Georgia Et Al v Public Resource Org, Inc. We set out what happened, what the Supreme Court found, the implications of the decision and we look at whether a similar principle applies in Australia. The Supreme Court held that works authored by legislators in their legislative capacity were ineligible for copyright protection. The decision extends the United States “government edicts doctrine” which embodies the principle that “no one can own the law”. read more...
Subjects: Copyright

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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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‘Sexy’ stamp leaves United States Postal Service blushing  

The United States Government, acting through the United States Postal Service (USPS) has been ordered to pay US $3.5 million for copyright infringement after accidentally using a replica Statue of Liberty on its 2011 Forever Stamp.  The creator of the replica sculpture, Robert S. Davidson, brought a claim against the United States for infringing his read more...
Subjects: Copyright

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