Australia

“The myths can make companies disengage” – exclusive interview with IP Australia’s China representative

Charlotte Trinh has big ambitions to grow the role and push for more engagement between Australian brand owners and the Chinese IP system.

“The myths can make companies disengage” – exclusive interview with IP Australia’s China representative
“An opportunity to break new ground” – why GI negotiations between Australia and EU could be positive, despite concerns
12 Oct 2020

“An opportunity to break new ground” – why GI negotiations between Australia and EU could be positive, despite concerns

The FTA negotiations have Australia pressured to adapt an EU-centric geographical indication regime. Local experts tell WTR of the concerns felt by rights holders.

Amazon expands Transparency in Asia-Pacific, provides update on counterfeit interceptions
1 Oct 2020

Amazon expands Transparency in Asia-Pacific, provides update on counterfeit interceptions

Amazon has announced the expansion of its Transparency product serialisation service to Australia and Japan.

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25 Nov 2020

Rhymes but not a crime: BOTOX v PROTOX

In a blow to pharmaceutical company Allergan, the Federal Court of Australia has concluded that the use of PROTOX and BOTOX in composite phrases for skincare products did not infringe Allergan's prior BOTOX marks. Read more

19 Nov 2020

WICKED v WICKED SISTER: Federal Court considers issues of deceptive similarity, ownership and removal

There was no sweet victory before the Federal Court of Australia for the owners of the WICKED SISTER mark, used mostly for dairy desserts, in their attempt to prevent use of the WICKED mark for dipping sauces and related products. Read more

10 Nov 2020

Film titles - trademarks or not trademarks?

The recent decision of the Australian Trademarks Office in a case involving a film called Lion again discusses the issue of whether a film title may function as a trademark. Read more

4 Nov 2020

Federal Court finds that MONSTER’s reputation is not enough

In a blow to well-known energy drinks company Monster Energy, the Federal Court of Australia has refused to invalidate Japanese software company Mixi’s application to extend the protection of its international registration for MONSTER STRIKE to Australia. Read more

Anti-Counterfeiting

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15 Sep 2020

Apple seizure controversy; USPTO launches innovation council; McDonald’s versus Hungry Jack’s – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at a counterfeit crackdown in Guangzhou, Oracle seemingly prevailing in bid for TikTok, branded product labels being used to spread awareness of social causes, and much more. Read more

11 Aug 2020

Apple versus Prepear; IP Australia teams up with National Rugby League; ‘China quit India’ campaign launched – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at WhatsApp and Google being used by scammers to dupe consumers, ICANN heads to Kuala Lumpur, Lao joins TMclass, and much more. Read more

10 Apr 2020

INTA coronavirus donation drive; IPAustralia added to TMview; Harry and Meghan domain snafu – news digest

In our latest edition, we look at a warning over a long-term counterfeits risk, WIPO revealing its top corporate filers, Finland joining DesignClass, a change in Syrian trademark fees, and much more. Read more

25 Feb 2020

International Anti-counterfeiting Coalition relocates annual conference to Rome; WIPO election heats up; BlackBerry dispute – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at unauthorised SUSSEX ROYAL trademark applications being filed across the globe, PepsiCo purchasing a Chinese snack brand, the USPTO giving an update on its engagement efforts, and much more. Read more

Brand management

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30 Sep 2020

QAnon™ – the global efforts to trademark a far-right movement

New investigation finds trademark applications around the world related to the controversial QAnon movement, with one applicant revealing an ambitious plan to launch a global brand to “plant trees and save the oceans”. Read more

29 Sep 2020

Brands less important to consumers demanding social improvements, report reveals

Brandwatch has released the results of a survey of consumer perception on brand purpose in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

8 Sep 2020

Controlling Black Lives Matter: the battle to trademark a movement

A WTR investigation finds over 50 attempts to register Black Lives Matter brands in 2020 so far, with one activist telling us that legal protection is necessary “so that people can't profit from it who haven't shed blood for this movement”. Read more

4 Sep 2020

Queen Elizabeth II prevails in trademark dispute; Big Mac versus Big Jack; Kraft Heinz licensing – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at a warning to act on counterfeit goods before it’s too late, Lord & Taylor filing for bankruptcy, IP Australia updating its trademark classifications, and much more. Read more

Enforcement and Litigation

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27 Oct 2020

Is it a Big Mac? Is it a Big Jack? No, it’s a Big MacJac!

Australia’s burger wars have heated up again, with McDonald’s threatening trademark infringement proceedings against restaurant chain Rashjays over its Big MacJac burger. This comes after McDonald’s took action against rival Hungry Jacks over its Big Jack burger. Read more

7 Sep 2020

BLACK SHEEP trademark dispute - not all sheep are the same

This Australian decision provides guidance on what types of evidence may - or may not - be sufficient to prove use of a trademark in the course of trade. Read more

27 Jul 2020

Same same but different: SAMSUNG QLED not deceptively similar to LG Electronics’ QLED mark

Samsung’s trademark SAMSUNG QLED has proceeded to registration in Australia despite it wholly containing LG Electronics’ QLED trademark, and despite the products on which the trademark is used by Samsung not actually using QLED technology. Read more

29 May 2020

Goodwill and trademarks: crunchy not smooth

In Kraft v Bega, the Full Court of the Federal Court has confirmed that Bega retains the right to use the trade dress for its peanut butter in Australia, which it acquired through purchasing the peanut butter business of Mondelez in 2017. Read more

Government/Policy

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14 Aug 2020

Innovation at IP Australia: spotlight on non-core tools and services

In a new regular series on WTR, national IP offices share the innovative non-core tools and services that they have launched or are developing for the future. This week, we focus on innovation at IP Australia. Read more

16 Jul 2020

A connected world: learnings from the first internationally linked trademark database

In an exclusive guest post, academics in Australia share findings from their new study into the first database that links equivalent trademarks across national offices into a single comprehensive offering. Read more

18 Feb 2020

Holden brand retired; EUIPO coronavirus extension; Japan GI cancellation – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at Amazon car seat criticism leading to calls for legal reform, New Zealand being added to the TMview roster, US and China battling over the WIPO director general position, and much more. Read more

23 Jan 2020

Sussex Royal trademark challenged: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle face legal battle after receiving threat of opposition

A trademark application filed by the Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for the brand name 'Sussex Royal' has received a notice of threatened opposition this week, WTR can reveal. Read more

Law Firms

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23 Sep 2020

Flying high: registry data shows Asia-Pacific filings are skyrocketing

Filing data at the top Asia-Pacific IP offices reveals a region undergoing spectacular growth, accounting for a colossal 80% of trademark activity worldwide last year. Spearheading the effort is China – a nation with increasing influence over its neighbours, which shows no signs of slowing down. Read more

28 Aug 2020

Economies are battered but many major offices set for record trademark numbers

As the data continues to be updated, we are able to get a better understanding of the extent of the coronavirus’ impact on the trademark ecosystem. Read more

5 Jun 2020

Australia’s economy is being challenged on all sides with impact on trademark activity yet to be seen

The country’s filing data is an early indicator that recovery is under way, but the government must still deal with the long-term impacts of the bush fires as well as the health crisis - all on top of escalating tensions with China and its first recession in nearly 29 years. Read more

1 Oct 2019

Asia’s top filers reveal strong growth prospects

World Trademark Review takes a deep dive into the top Asia-Pacific trademark offices and how they are modernising their systems to better protect applicants and streamline procedures. While this has positively affected filing levels, economic performance and domestic businesses will be key going forward. Read more

IP Offices

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21 Sep 2020

China eclipses United States in latest Asia-Pacific filing figures – with Alibaba top of the pile on home turf

WTR crunches the numbers at the leading Asia-Pacific trademark offices to reveal the extent of China’s emergence as a regional superpower, with Alibaba leading the way among both agent and corporate filers at its home registry. Read more

20 Dec 2019

IP Australia fee consultation, Ferrero denied in Singapore, and call for USPTO examining attorney help: news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at the Serbian IPO reducing its fees, the Korean IP Office getting a budget boost, US Senators opposing China’s WIPO director general nominee, and much more Read more

7 Jun 2019

Next-generation trademarks: IP Australia on using blockchain to create smart IP rights

In a world first, IP Australia is using blockchain technology to create a “digital representation” of trademark registrations. We speak with the registry’s CIO, Rob Bollard, to find out more. Read more

30 Apr 2019

Copycat wine corked, Dettol most trusted brand, and Lego gang knocked out: news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at China hitting back at IP criticism, USPTO revealing cryprocurrency-related trademark applications, Alibaba settling a counterfeits case, and much more. Read more

Online

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2 Jul 2020

In a space of their own: new second-level ‘.au’ domains

Australian third-level domains may soon be outdated due to the release of the new second-level ‘.au’ domain. This update presents key takeaway points to maximise the prospects of securing a second-level ‘.au’ domain. Read more

16 Aug 2019

When a domain name is dropped, you need the best catcher in your team

A recent decision involving the domain name ‘ogio.com.au’ under the ‘.au’ Dispute Resolution Policy is an important reminder of how panels can have different approaches to the same facts in complex cases. Read more

26 Jun 2019

Brands warned of counterfeit apps on Google Play; academic finds trademark protection of little help

A major new study has discovered nearly 50,000 potentially copycat apps on the Google Play store, with 2,000 deemed high-risk. However, the academic behind the study tells WTR that trademark protection is of limited help to combat such a widespread issue. Read more

26 Apr 2019

World IP Day celebrated around the globe, Special 301 released, and IP Australia annual report: news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at planned IP improvements in Kuwait, research which finds consumers are quick to “dump brands”, LL Cool J prevailing in a trademark dispute, and much more. Read more

Portfolio Management

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8 Apr 2020

The claws come out – Caterpillar partially successful in IRONCAT oppositions

Well-known US construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has been partially successful in its oppositions to the registration of the word mark IRONCAT and the logo mark IRONCAT TYRES for tyres and related services in Australia. Read more

5 Mar 2020

When inspiration becomes misappropriation: Hashtag Burgers left DOWN-N-OUT

The Federal Court of Australia has ruled in favour of US fast-food chain In-N-Out Burgers against Australian fast-food chain Hashtag Burgers, which had started selling its burgers under the mark DOWN-N-OUT as a ‘tribute’ to In-N-Out Burgers. Read more

19 Feb 2020

Federal Court finds URBAN ALE descriptive for beer

In Urban Alley Brewery Pty Ltd v La Sirène Pty Ltd, the Federal Court of Australia has concluded that the trademark URBAN ALE for beer should be cancelled because it is descriptive of beer products produced in an inner-city location. Read more

9 Sep 2019

Federal Court clarifies limitation of own name defence

In Mitolo Wines Aust Pty Ltd v Vito Mitolo & Son Pty Ltd, the Federal Court of Australia has found that use of the name V. Mitolo and Son infringed trademark registrations for the mark MITOLO in relation to wine. Read more

Trademark law

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23 Apr 2020

Inside Treasury Wine Estates’ 10-year battle to register its Penfolds mark in China

WTR speaks to Treasury Wine Estates’ global director of intellectual property to get the inside track on how the company prevailed in a decade-long trademark squatting case. Read more

6 Dec 2019

Litigation procedures and strategies: Australia

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1 Oct 2019

A tale of two flags: who owns the right to use?

The Australian government is considering whether to compulsorily acquire the rights to use the Aboriginal flag on public policy grounds. The debate raises questions over whether similar moves could occur in other jurisdictions. Read more

23 Sep 2019

The Aboriginal flag dispute in focus: who owns the right to use?

The Australian government is considering whether to compulsorily acquire the rights to use the Aboriginal flag on public policy grounds. Kate O'Rourke of Mewburn Ellis takes a deep dive into the debate. Read more

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