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This week, in partnership with Swinburne University of Technology and the University of Melbourne, IP Australia has announced its development of a “single, internationally-linked trademark database”, TM-link. The free to use offering is being positioned as an alternative to “expensive” country-specific trademark databases, bringing the tool into competition with commercial service providers.
An Australian senator has led a protest, accompanied by a flock of sheep, against a trademark lawsuit initiated by Deckers Outdoor Corporation. The dispute focuses on the UGG brand of boots, with Senator Nick Xenophon arguing that the term should be protected as a geographical indication.
Over the past week, Billabong has been the subject of business media coverage following the announcement that it had reduced “the value of its brand to zero”. While an accounting manoeuvre, the move will concern counsel at a time when management appreciation of brands and the work they do to support them is most wanted.
Australia’s Full Federal Court has overturned a previous decision which held that Google did not itself engage in misleading and deceptive conduct as a result of misleading advertisements or 'sponsored links' appearing on its website. The case centred on four specific links, with the judgment described as “surprising” by one commentator.
The Australian Senate has approved the country’s Plain Packaging Bill, meaning that bar an unexpected U-turn - tobacco products will be sold in generic packaging from December 2012. The move has sparked anger amongst brand associations, with tobacco companies looking to continue the fight.
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