Can a computer decide whether two business names are “nearly identical”?

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal decided at the end of August 2014 that the prior registration of “Melbourne Children’s Psychology Clinic” as a business name prevented the registration of “Melbourne Child Psychology” and “Melbourne Child Psychology Services” because the latter names were “nearly identical” to the former. Whilst the decision traversed issues of the kind familiar to any practitioner with some …

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Negotiating the perils and pitfalls of corporate social media: a lesson from Madden v Seafolly

Online social media is now widely acknowledged as the new frontier of corporate communications.  Indeed, nearly 80 per cent of large companies now use social media to connect with their customers.  Having an online presence has become effectively mandatory, but with that comes a range of risks, including in relation to potentially misleading or defamatory statements. The recent decision in …

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Jack Wills, McDonald’s, Bunnings v Masters, Tesco, Cadbury, Coke v Pepsi and much, much more – 15 recent case “bites” and 5 tips on brand protection in the retail space for 2014 so far

2014 has been a topsy-turvy year so far in the retail and FMCG spaces in terms of trade mark decisions in Australia, New Zealand and the UK and EU. It is worth looking at a few recent decisions to help guide big and not-so-big names with their brand protection strategies. You win some … In the “battle of the bird …

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Not all fun and games in copycat litigation

The gaming industry (and gamers) will be watching two recent US cases with great anticipation. In these cases, law suits have been brought against alleged copycat games, relying on causes of action including copyright, trade dress and patent infringement. The decisions raise the important and interesting question – can you protect the rules and implementation of a game? What about …

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The supply of a right to use source code

A Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia held recently that a fairly typical software distribution agreement did not confer on the distributor a right to use source code. One may ask why would the parties need to know? The answer lies in the application of royalty withholding tax to payments made by Australian taxpayers to Canadian software licensors. …

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A straw-poll for our readers – what wine bottle label is this??

We like to think that we know our readers quite well here at IP Whiteboard. But do we? Really?? Obviously they’re incredibly smart and ridiculously good looking, and have great taste. But what are their thought processes when they’re let loose in the supermarket or bottle-shop? With the aim of getting to know you a little better, we thought that …

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E-tail & the details: consumer guarantees & overseas e-tailers

There wouldn’t be many people left who haven’t purchased something from overseas.  E-commerce is booming here and overseas.  But while it’s great for consumers and opens up new markets for businesses, it isn’t without its legal issues.  For example, do the rules preventing companies from misleading and deceiving consumers in Australia apply to statements made by overseas companies over the …

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Google around the world: privacy, e-commerce and the “right to be forgotten”

A panel of people appointed by Google is meeting in Madrid today to debate the balance between privacy and freedom of information. This is the first of seven meetings set to take place across various European capitals, instigated by the “internet giant” after the controversial “right to be forgotten” ruling of the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in May this …

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