Archive: April 2016

1
European Court Considers Whether Hyperlinking to Unauthorised Content on Third-party Websites Infringes Copyright
2
Is Purchase of a Google AdWord use of a Trade Mark? Case Examined by Australian Federal Court
3
Fashion Law Newsletter – Autumn/Winter 2016 edition
4
A Right (Design) Carry-On!
5
Overseas manufacturers supplying goods for ultimate sale in Australia liable for trade mark infringement under Australian law

European Court Considers Whether Hyperlinking to Unauthorised Content on Third-party Websites Infringes Copyright

By Alessandra Feller and Alessia Castelli

Following the provision of a recent Advocate General opinion, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is expected to give further guidance on hyperlinking soon.

A dispute arose in the Netherlands between Sanoma Media Netherlands BV (and others) and GS Media in relation to the posting of website hyperlinks to third party sites which contained photographs the communication of which was not authorised by Sanoma and the other right holders.

Specifically, the Dutch Supreme Court has referred certain questions to the CJEU, asking whether

  1. hyperlinks to a freely accessible third party website which displays material without the consent of the copyright owner should be considered a “communication to the public” within the meaning of Art 3(1) of the Directive no. 2001/29 (“InfoSoc Directive”).
  2. In such circumstances, whether the following factors are relevant:
    • the awareness of the hyperlinker of the failure of authorisation from the copyright owner, and/or
    • the facilitation role played by the hyperlink on the accessibility of the material.Such conclusions were based on the grounds that the photographs were “freely accessible” to the general internet public on third party websites.

The CJEU decision on this case is much awaited, and it will be complementing the argument introduced by the Svensson case on hyperlinking. The decision in Svensson left some ambiguity as to whether it made a difference that works had been published on a site linked to without the copyright owner’s consent.

On April 7, 2016, Advocate General Wathelet  released an opinion that hyperlinking to unauthorised content does not constitute an act of communication to the public under Article 3(1) of the InfoSoc Directive, because the intervention of the hyper linker is not essential to the making available of the copyright works to users. He also held that it is irrelevant whether the hyperlinker is aware that the linked content is unauthorised. In the AG’s view, the only criterion that mattered is whether the linked website is freely accessible or whether the hyperlink is used to circumvent a restriction put in place in order to limit access to a protected work. Only in the latter case would a hyperlink constitute a communication to the public.

Is Purchase of a Google AdWord use of a Trade Mark? Case Examined by Australian Federal Court

By Lisa Egan and Allison Wallace

The Federal Court of Australia has examined the issue of trade mark infringement by advertisers using competitors’ trade marks as Google AdWords. Advertisers need to ensure they do not use competitors’ marks as a ‘badge of origin’ to avoid trade mark infringement.

Veda Advantage Limited v Malouf Group Enterprises Pty Limited concerned Veda, a financial services company and Malouf, a credit repair business. A “VedaScore” is a number that summarises the information in a person’s credit file and is expressed as a number between 0 and 1200. In simple terms, the higher a person’s VedaScore, the better that person’s credit profile and the more likely that person will receive credit.

Malouf purchased a series of keywords that contained the word “veda”, so when a consumer typed “veda” into Google’s search engine, their search results would include sponsored ad links for Malouf’s services.

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Fashion Law Newsletter – Autumn/Winter 2016 edition

By Lisa Egan

We are excited to bring you the next edition of Fashion Law, highlighting important issues at the crossroads of fashion and the law.

Fashion Law gives you the latest updates on legal issues affecting the fashion industry. This edition includes articles on how to set up your business in order to minimise risk, workplace bullying in the retail environment, examples of trade mark and copyright disputes by major fashion brands and also the very tricky industry issues of how thin is too thin for fashion models.

Please click here to read the Autumn/Winter 2016 edition of Fashion Law.

A Right (Design) Carry-On!

By Briony Pollard and Serena Totino

Designers will be disappointed by the recent Supreme Court decision in the long running Trunki (suit) case between Magmatic and PMS International, which finally put to bed whether surface decoration could and should form part of the global comparison test when assessing infringement of a Registered Community Design (RCD).

In 2013 Magmatic Ltd., manufacturer of ‘Trunki’, the ride-on suitcases for children, attempted to enforce its RCD against PMS International Group plc, importer and seller of the ‘Kiddee case’ in the UK and Germany.

Both Trunki and Kiddee cases are designed to look like animals, both have four wheels, a clasp at the front and a saddle-shaped top making the cases easy for children to ride on. The differences between the cases are largely limited to colour and the ‘protuberances’, which look like horns in the Trunki case and antennae or ears in the Kiddee case.

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Overseas manufacturers supplying goods for ultimate sale in Australia liable for trade mark infringement under Australian law

By Gregory Pieris and Allison Wallace

Playgro Pty Ltd v Playgo Art and Craft Manufactory Limited [2016] FCA 280

Manufacturers selling products into Australia be warned: the fact you are located outside of Australia will not protect you from infringing Australian trade marks. This was the message the Federal Court handed down in the recent decision of Playgro Pty Ltd v Playgo Art and Craft Manufactory Limited [2016] FCA 280.

Playgo was a Chinese manufacturer of children’s toys sold for many years under the “PLAYGO” trade mark. Playgo agreed to supply its toys to a number of well-known Australian retailers, who then imported the products into Australia and sold them in stores across the country. Australian company Playgro commenced proceedings against Playgo, arguing that it infringed various Australian registered trade marks for “PLAYGRO”.

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