Copyright contract proves to be Kryptonite for Superman co-creator

Joseph Shuster (artist) and Jerry Siegel (writer) created the legendary comic book character Superman in 1933, and assigned copyright in the work to Warner Bros subsidiary DC Comics in 1938 – apparently for $130. (Fun fact: the original cheque from DC Comics to Joseph Shuster was recently sold at auction for $160,000! Although we note that the duo continued to …

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Preliminary discovery and arbitration

Ordinarily, an arbitral tribunal does not have power to order preliminary discovery of documents that would allow a prospective plaintiff to evaluate whether or not sufficient evidence exists to commence a claim.  This was one of the findings of the Supreme Court of NSW in a recent case in which a company suspected that a number of its former senior …

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Guidelines released on the “right to be forgotten”

Search engines are no longer in the dark about how to interpret the now infamous “right to be forgotten” ruling of the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”), handed down in May this year (read our post on the decision here). On Wednesday 26 November, the European data protection authorities assembled in the “Article 29 Working Party” (“Working Party”) to adopt …

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When is information about a residential property “personal information”?

Is information contained in a document about a residential property “personal information” about the owners or occupants of the property under NSW privacy legislation even if the document doesn’t directly identify the owners or occupants? This was the question that the Appeal Panel of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal had to consider in Office of Finance and Services v …

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ACCC grants interim authorisation of Medicines Australia’s Code of Conduct

In October this year we posted on the ACCC’s draft determination on the new edition 18 of Medicines Australia’s Code of Conduct (see more here). As readers of our blog might recall, the ACCC indicated that it would not grant approval to the new edition of the Code unless certain amendments were made to increase transparency regarding gifts and benefits …

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Coffee wars – High Court clarifies test for registrability of trade marks

In a landmark trade mark judgment delivered on 3 December 2014, the High Court in Cantarella Bros v Modena Trading [2014] HCA 48 has clarified a critical aspect of Australian trade mark law relating to the test for inherent adaptation to distinguish (inherent distinctiveness) under section 41.  The majority of the High Court found that the words ORO and CINQUE …

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What’s in a name? Saks v “Snaks” trade mark dispute

 (Unfortunately, not for human consumption. Some of the treats available from “Snaks 5th Avenchew”.) They say dogs are (wo)man’s best friend, but apparently the team over at Saks 5th Avenue missed the memo. The luxury U.S. department store had a less than friendly reaction to discovering a small online business retailing specialty canine and equine treats under the name “Snaks …

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Website blocking injunction issued for trade mark infringement

The importance of trade marks to luxury brands has always been a happy coincidence for this IP Whiteboard blogger, so when Justice Arnold handed down his latest decision in relation to counterfeit goods in the UK High Court, I (momentarily) ceased flicking through the latest issue of Vogue and switched over to Bailii (the UK’s case law database, and equally …

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