On 24 February 2021, the UK High Court found that a number of Oh Polly dress designs had infringed the unregistered design rights of its competitor, House of CB. This recent decision confirms the risk of additional damages being awarded if infringers flagrantly copy third party designs, whilst also confirming the difficulties brand owners face in bringing passing off actions based solely on copycat designs.Read More
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.
Dynamic Supplies Pty Limited v Tonnex International Pty Limited (No.3)  FCA 909
In the liability hearing of this matter (Dynamic Supplies Pty Limited v Tonnex International Pty Limited (2001) 91 IPR 488) Justice Yates found that:
- the respondent, Tonnex, had infringed the copyright owned by the applicant, Dynamic, in a computer compatibility chart for printer and computer consumables called the ‘March 2008 CSV file’ (Copyright Work) in breach of the Copyright Act 1968 by reproducing a substantial part of the Copyright Work in its document called ‘Tonnex 2008’
- Tonnex had contravened ss 52, 53(c) and 53(eb) of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth).
Additional Damages for Past Trade Mark Infringements
In June 2014 the Federal Court made its first award of additional damages for trade mark infringement under the ‘Raising the Bar’ amendments to the Trade Marks Act 1995 (TM Act). We reported on the original judgment in our 23 June 2014 alert, which you can find here.
Today, the Federal Court of Australia handed down another judgment in that case. This second judgement suggests that additional damages may also be available for trade mark infringements that occurred before 15 April 2013.
Although acknowledging the ease of copying photographs on the internet, an Australian Court has warned through the publication of its decision that this copying should not continue. In the case of Tylor v Sevin, a Hawaii, U.S., based photographer sued a Melbourne, Australia, based travel agent regarding a photograph he took titled ‘Waikaki Pink Boat’. The travel agent used the photograph on its website promoting holidays to Hawaii.
After being put on notice of the case, the travel agent refused to take down the photograph or offer to pay a licence fee. Read More
Additional Damages Awarded for Trade Mark Infringement
Trade mark owners can take encouragement from the Federal Court of Australia’s readiness to award additional damages as a deterrent from further infringement. The Court made its first award of additional damages for trade mark infringement in a case about kebabs, where a claim for actual loss from an infringement could not be made. Additional damages are a useful weapon in a brand owner’s arsenal. Read More