No mean feet obtaining a discovery order – Manolo Blahnik Worldwide Limited v Estro Concept Pty Limited

Sex and the City fans will be very familiar with the infamous satin blue stiletto heels Mr Big proposed to Carrie Bradshaw with. The iconic moment was seared into pop culture history as Mr Big bent down on one knee and placed the cobalt blue shoe on Carrie’s foot like a life-transforming glass slipper – read more...

Another case considering t-shirt branding. Has Silberquelle been transplanted into Australian law?

The Australian airline Qantas has had its opposition against the “t-shirt” mark below rejected by the Federal Court (Qantas Airways Limited v Edwards [2016] FCA 729). (Edwards’ Mark) The decision makes interesting reading in a number of respects, but this note only considers a discreet issue. Is use on a t-shirt trade mark use? If read more...

Wrong side of the line – more absolute grounds rejections for stripe marks of K-Swiss Inc and Shoe Branding Europe BVBA

We’ve devoted a lot of time on IP Whiteboard to position marks, particularly in the fashion sector. Recently, a number of decisions have come down rejecting stripe marks, and it is worth briefly having a look at the arguments and the reasoning and contrasting them against some earlier decisions. The “skinny” is that there is read more...
Subjects: Trade marks

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What’s in a name? (Try to) Keep up with the Kardashians

Here at IP Whiteboard, we learnt the power of a celebrity name when one of our posts got roughly 20 times more hits than we expected (and crashed the site in the process). Why? While we like to think the combination of on-trend pop culture knowledge and cutting edge legal analysis really drew readers in, read more...

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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Phoenix rises from the ashes for Australian designer brand

Australian designer brand Viktoria + Woods has renamed its iconic leather jacket due to a “trademark technicality”. As announced on its Facebook page just before Christmas, the jacket formerly known as ‘the Hendrix’ has done a Prince and is now known as ‘the Phoenix’. The designers seem relatively upbeat about the change – writing “New read more...

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...