Category:IP Litigation

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Victory for Chanel in Luxury Reseller Trial
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Burger Wars: The Big Beef Between McDonald’s and Hungry Jack’s–McD Asia Pacific LLC v. Hungry Jack’s Pty Ltd [2023] FCA 1412
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Full Federal Court Takes ‘New Aim’ at Experts: Appeal Decision Handed Down in New Aim Pty Ltd v Leung [2023] FCAFC 67
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The Battle of the Supermarkets Vol. 2 – GINgle Bells, GINgle Bells, GIN All the Way
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FTC Imposes Multi-Million Dollar Penalties for Deceptive Consumer Reviews; Best Practices Reminders on Endorsements and Testimonials
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Ed Sheeran in “Shape of You” Court Battle
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F45 Cops a Punch in Further Australian Decision on Patents for Computer Implemented Inventions
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Guide: How to Enforce Intellectual Property Rights in China
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Unicolours v. H&M: Copyright Registration Validity
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A Fair Use Tale, or All’s Well That Ends: the U.S. Supreme Court Holds Google’s Use of Java Code to Be a Fair Use under U.S. Copyright Law

Victory for Chanel in Luxury Reseller Trial

A New York federal jury sided in favor of Chanel on all of it claims against luxury reseller What Goes Around Comes Around (WGACA), awarding Chanel US$4 million in statutory damages for sales of counterfeit Chanel-branded handbags. In Chanel, Inc. v. What Goes Around Comes Around, LLC, et al., 1:18-cv-02253 (SDNY), WGACA was found liable for trademark infringement, false association and unfair competition, and false advertising claims. The jury further found that WGACA acted willfully, with reckless disregard, or with willful blindness. 

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Burger Wars: The Big Beef Between McDonald’s and Hungry Jack’s–McD Asia Pacific LLC v. Hungry Jack’s Pty Ltd [2023] FCA 1412

In McD Asia Pacific LLC v. Hungry Jack’s Pty Ltd [2023] FCA 1412, fast-food giant McDonald’s and Australian dinner-time rival Hungry Jack’s faced off in the Federal Court of Australia over their burger names BIG MAC vs BIG JACK and MEGA MAC vs MEGA JACK.

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Full Federal Court Takes ‘New Aim’ at Experts: Appeal Decision Handed Down in New Aim Pty Ltd v Leung [2023] FCAFC 67

The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia handed down its appeal decision on 10 May 2023 in New Aim Pty Ltd v Leung [2023] FCAFC 67 (Appeal). A five judge panel presided over the Appeal and ultimately found in favour of the Appellant, New Aim Pty Ltd, including in relation to appeal ground 12 which contended that the primary judge erred in rejecting the entirety of the written and oral evidence of New Aim’s expert at trial, Ms Chen.

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The Battle of the Supermarkets Vol. 2 – GINgle Bells, GINgle Bells, GIN All the Way

It is beGINning to look a lot like a legal disputes saga between supermarkets in the UK. We have recently covered an ongoing dispute between Lidl and Tesco (see here), which relates to an alleged trade mark infringement. This time, Marks & Spencer (M&S) are suing the largest Europe’s discount grocery chain Aldi for copying their registered designs of the light-up Christmas gin bottles. This is the second legal case in recent times brought by M&S against Aldi, with the first one involving the famous Colin the Caterpillar cake, which has since been settled. Notably, the case at hand in relation to gin bottles demonstrates the benefits of registering designs in the UK, especially if such design is unique and has a significant value to the brand, and the brand would like to protect it against any copycats.

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FTC Imposes Multi-Million Dollar Penalties for Deceptive Consumer Reviews; Best Practices Reminders on Endorsements and Testimonials

In a widely distributed Notice of Penalty Offense sent to over 700 companies last year, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) warned businesses about use of fake endorsements and consumer reviews. Forewarned should be forearmed.” This is a continuing reminder to companies to have systems in place to ensure endorsements and reviews comply with FTC guidelines. Companies that are found to be in violation after receiving a “we’re watching you” letter can face civil penalties of up to $46,517 per violation.

Recipients of the FTC’s letter included major consumer products companies, retailers, and advertising agencies. Recipients were not accused of any wrongdoing but were put “on notice” of their responsibilities under the FTC Act and the Commission’s increased focus on specific advertising practices, particularly endorsements.

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Ed Sheeran in “Shape of You” Court Battle

Singer Ed Sheeran is currently giving evidence in a three week High Court copyright trial over his 2017 chart-topping hit “Shape of You.”

Sheeran has been accused by two musicians, Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue, that his hit song, “Shape of You” plagiarises “particular lines and phrases” of their 2015 composition, “Oh Why.” The two songs in question share a similar melody.

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F45 Cops a Punch in Further Australian Decision on Patents for Computer Implemented Inventions

The scorecard against computer implemented inventions being patentable in Australia took another hit this week when the Federal Court revoked two innovation patents from global fitness giant, F45 in F45 Training Pty Ltd v Body Fit Training Company Pty Ltd (No 2) [2022] FCA 96. Justice Nicholas of the Federal Court held that F45’s innovation patents, which involved a computer implemented system for configuring and operating one or more fitness studios, were invalid and even if they were valid, rival fitness franchise Body Fit Training did not infringe them.

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Guide: How to Enforce Intellectual Property Rights in China

This step-by-step guide sets out the actions to be taken upon discovering an infringement of an intellectual property right (IPR) in the People’s Republic of China (China). The IPRs addressed in this guide include copyright, trademark, patent, and unfair competition (including counterfeiting).

View the full article here

Unicolours v. H&M: Copyright Registration Validity

On June 1, 2021, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the ongoing case of Unicolors v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz, L.P., No. 20-915.  With a nearly $1 million copyright verdict on the line, pattern manufacturer Unicolors, Inc.’s (“Unicolors”) fate is now at the Supreme Court to decide whether courts should refer copyright registration validity challenges to the Copyright Office where there is a known misrepresentation in the registration, but no evidence of intent to defraud.

 A copyright registration certificate is not valid if obtained by offering false information and that information, if known, would have resulted in the registration being denied. Under 17 U.S.C. §411(b)(2), where knowingly inaccurate information is included in an application for copyright registration, “the court shall request the Register of Copyrights to advise the court whether the inaccurate information if known, would have caused the Register of Copyrights to refuse the registration.” 

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A Fair Use Tale, or All’s Well That Ends: the U.S. Supreme Court Holds Google’s Use of Java Code to Be a Fair Use under U.S. Copyright Law

By: Mark H. WittowPaul J. BrueneTrevor M. Gates

On 5 April 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved a major copyright dispute that had wound through the federal courts for over a decade. In a 6-2 decision written by Justice Breyer, the Supreme Court held that Google’s copying of roughly 11,500 lines of declaring Java code for Google’s mobile Android platform was a fair use as a matter of law and thus not copyright infringement. The decision addresses the application of copyright law to software and updates and extends the Supreme Court’s copyright fair use jurisprudence. Read our recent client alert here.

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