U.S. Congress created the first statutory private federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation when it enacted the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) on May 11, 2016. Now, more than a year since its enactment, the DTSA is being shaped and interpreted by various federal court decisions and enforcement trends are emerging.
IP Australia has released a consultation paper (Paper) concerning proposed amendments to Australia’s system for filing divisional trade mark applications. The Paper proposes amendments which will affect all divisional applications filed in Australia, including allowing divisional applications to be filed for International Registrations Designating Australia (IRDAs) for the first time.
The Australian Government has proposed significant changes to Australian patent law following an inquiry into the IP system recently completed by its advisory body, the Productivity Commission. These include:
- Amending the inventive step threshold to reflect that of the European Patent Office
- Phasing out innovation patents
- Requiring applicants to identify an invention’s technical features in their claims, and
- Adding an objects clause to the Patents Act.
In a positive decision for brand owners, the UK Supreme Court has confirmed that criminal trade mark offences can apply to the sale and distribution of grey market goods in addition to counterfeit goods.
In R v M & Ors  UKSC 58, the appellants had been importing clothes and shoes into the EU that bore trade marks of famous fashion brands. These were a combination of counterfeit goods and grey market goods (i.e. goods that had been produced with the trade mark owner’s consent but that had been subsequently sold without their consent).