The online marketplace continues to generate a vast number of fresh opportunities for businesses, such as the opening up of global trade channels to manufacturers and retailers that were previously restricted to their own local market. However, these opportunities come with very real risks and traders are becoming increasingly concerned about the sale of counterfeit goods through eCommerce stores such as Ali Express and the sale of re-branded copied goods through B2B websites such as Tao Bao.
On 5 August 2015, the Australian Patent Office (IP Australia) released a consultation paper seeking feedback from interested stakeholders on the Advisory Council on Intellectual Property’s (ACIP) recommendation that the Australian Government should abolish the innovation patent system.
Introduced in 2001 under the Howard Government, the innovation patent system is Australia’s second tier patent right having a shorter term,eight years, and a lower threshold of invention (i.e. an ‘innovative step’ as opposed to an ‘inventive step’ required for a standard patent).
In a recent decision the Australian Patent Office has rejected applications to extend the term of three patents related to the highly successful anti-inflammatory drug HUMIRA.
The patents are part of a family in which extensions of term had been granted in connection with earlier patents. These earlier extensions were based on the initial listing of HUMIRA on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Earlier this week the Supreme Court of Queensland (Court) delivered its judgment in the case of Coles v Dormer & Ors, a copyright infringement case about home designs. The Court found that a house built in an exclusive Port Douglas estate was created by copying the design of another house built close by in the same estate, and ordered that the infringing house undergo significant alterations to change its appearance.
John and Edith Bredens were prospective buyers of a home in The Sands, which had been constructed by Port Douglas Builders in accordance with plans created by designer Gregory Skyring. The Bredens were not successful in purchasing the house, which was ultimately bought by Stephen Coles, who gave evidence that he was particularly taken with the unique style of the house.
The German Federal Supreme Court Rules on the Blue Color Trade Mark of German Cosmetics Giant Beiersdorf
On 9 July 2015, the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) ruled on the validity of the blue color mark of the German beauty care company Beiersdorf. The BGH specified the requirements for acquiring distinctiveness with regard to abstract color marks by stating that a color can be registered as a trademark if half of consumers linked the concerned product to that color. Thus, the BGH clarified that abstract color marks acquire distinctiveness under the same conditions as other trade marks.