IP Law Watch

Legal issues, law and regulations concerning the world of IP.

 

1
The Color Red Sparks a Dispute Between Banks
2
Apple Denied App Store Trade Mark in Australia
3
High Court of Australia Decides Landmark Trade Mark Case
4
The Great Bottle Battle – Coke vs Pepsi
5
Big Data Round-Ups
6
Copyright Reform in the European Union: Big Changes Announced, but are They Possible?
7
Safe and Sound
8
AUD50,000+ Reasons for Employees to Think Twice About Their Employer’s Copyright Works and Confidential Information
9
Business Method Patents in Australia: Mere Computer Implementation Not Enough
10
First Case of Suspected Copyright Infringement on Discussion Forum Detected by Hong Kong Customs Using New Monitoring System

The Color Red Sparks a Dispute Between Banks

The Secondary Distinctiveness of a Trademark: Ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union

If a ‘significant part’ (at least 70%) of the consumer group is able to recognize given goods as deriving from a specific company using the trademark, then the mark has certainly acquired distinctiveness, including in the case of ‘secondary distinctiveness as a result of use’.

The European Court of Justice held on 19 June 2014 in a ruling (C-217/13 and C-218/13) in the case of Oberbank AG, Banco Santander SA and Santander Consumer Bank AG vs. Deutsche Sparkassen und Giroverband e.V. (DSGV), the result of three pre-trial questions submitted to the Court of Justice by the German Federal Patent Office (Bundespatentgericht). The findings were as follows: Read More

Apple Denied App Store Trade Mark in Australia

It has been a bumper week for IP decisions in Australia. Earlier, we reported on the Coke v Pepsi and Cantarella decisions. Now, in a third major judgment, the Federal Court of Australia (Federal Court) has refused registration of Apple’s trade mark application for APP STORE in Australia.

Apple Inc. v Registrar of Trade Marks [2014] FCA 1304 was an appeal from a decision by the Registrar of Trade Marks (Registrar). The Registrar found that the trade mark APP STORE was ‘purely’, ‘directly’ or ‘inherently’ descriptive, as it would be well understood by modern digital-savvy consumers to refer to a ‘store’ that sells or provides ‘apps’. Read More

High Court of Australia Decides Landmark Trade Mark Case

Decision in Cantarella Bros Pty Ltd v Modena Trading Pty Ltd Clarifies Test for Distinctiveness of Trade Marks in Australia

This week, the High Court of Australia (High Court) handed down only its third decision considering trade mark issues since the enactment of the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth). This decision could make it easier to register foreign language words as trade marks.

Read More

The Great Bottle Battle – Coke vs Pepsi

Coke Loses its Action Against Pepsi Based on its Iconic Contour Bottle

The Coca-Cola Company v Pepsico Inc & Ors (No 2) [2014] FCA 1287

On 28 November 2014, the Federal Court of Australia dismissed claims of trade mark infringement, misleading and deceptive conduct and passing off made by The Coca-Cola Company (Coke) against Pepsico Inc, Pepsico Australia Holdings Pty Ltd, and Schweppes Australia Pty Ltd, the manufacturer and distributor of Pepsico Inc products in Australia (collectively referred to as Pepsi). Read More

Big Data Round-Ups

Our October 30th blog introduced and explained the concept of Big Data. Here we look at some of the pitfalls of collecting the massive amounts of small data that combine to become Big Data. We imagine the ranges of bits and bytes of small data that combine to create Big Data as herds of grazing horses susceptible to round up and inclusion in a Big Data corral. Read More

Copyright Reform in the European Union: Big Changes Announced, but are They Possible?

The new European Commission President, Jean Claude Junker, included in his October 22nd inaugural speech as his second priority an “impulse to Europe’s Digital Single Market”, which should include “modernising copyright rules in the light of the digital revolution and changed consumer behaviour”. Read More

Safe and Sound

Sound Marks in Australia

In September, IP Australia accepted for registration a trade mark described as “the Trade Mark consists of the sound of a fictitious character saying the word “Simples!” followed by a squeaking sound such as might be expected to be made by a Meerkat or other small animal”. You can listen to this trade mark here.  This application was filed for an array of goods and services by the UK company BGL Group Limited. Read More

AUD50,000+ Reasons for Employees to Think Twice About Their Employer’s Copyright Works and Confidential Information

Employees often like to take a little with them when leaving employment, some might say as a ‘memento’, others might say as outright theft of the intellectual property of their employer.  In a recent decision, an ex employee was ordered to pay his former employer AUD50,000 in damages for copying over 60GB of data prior to leaving his job to work for a competitor.

Read More

Business Method Patents in Australia: Mere Computer Implementation Not Enough

Research Affiliates LLC v Commissioner of Patents [2014] FCAFC 150

On 10 November 2014, the Australian Full Federal Court (Court) held that a method of creating an index of securities using a standard computer was a ‘scheme’, and, hence, not a patentable invention.

The Court applied the Australian High Court test from National Research Development Corporation v Commissioner of Patents (1959) 102 CLR 252 that a patentable invention must produce an “artificially created state of affairs”. The Court said that this test is not satisfied by mechanistic application of artificiality or physical effect, but by understanding the claimed invention as a matter of substance not form. Read More

First Case of Suspected Copyright Infringement on Discussion Forum Detected by Hong Kong Customs Using New Monitoring System

A man was arrested by Hong Kong Customs (Customs) for uploading a large amount of suspected infringing copyright works to the internet for financial gain. The automatic monitoring system, called Lineament Monitoring System 1 Plus (LMS1+), searches discussion forums, captures evidence related to selected messages and performs automatic downloads for further analysis. LMS1+ alerts Customs officers of suspected cases to conduct a more thorough investigation. Read More

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