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17 January 2012

Evidence from persons accustomed to dealing in specialised market was required

In Idameneo (No 789) Ltd v Symbion Pharmacy Services Pty Ltd, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has held that, in considering whether a trademark was “capable of being confused with” another mark, the trial judge had erred by deciding this question in the absence of evidence from persons who are accustomed to dealing in the relevant specialised market in which the parties competed.

10 January 2012

Apple loses its IPAD mark

The Intermediate People’s Court in Shenzhen has rejected Apple’s claim of ownership of the IPAD trademark, holding that Proview Technology Shenzhen Company Limited had a prior registration for the IPAD mark. Apple had argued that an earlier agreement with Proview Electronics Taiwan should be binding on Proview Technology Shenzhen and, therefore, the IPAD mark should have been transferred to Apple.

15 December 2011

Apple’s iPad problems in China: the tip of the iceberg for Western companies?

Apple’s recent travails in China over its IPAD trademark have generated numerous headlines across the globe. However, missing in much of the analysis is practical advice on how others can avoid a similar situation occurring. As one commentator notes, the Apple example is merely the tip of the iceberg.

09 December 2011

How the international success of Chinese brands can benefit IP owners

New research has outlined the perception issues currently preventing Chinese brands from gaining a foothold with European consumers. However, these challenges can be overcome and the success of Chinese brands internationally could lead to benefits for all brand owners.

28 September 2011

New act brings significant changes to trademark legislation

The Trademarks Amendment Bill (previously the Trademarks (International Treaties and Enforcement) Amendment Bill) was passed on September 8 2011. It received royal assent a week later as well as a new name, becoming the Trademarks Amendment Act 2011. The act is a significant piece of new IP legislation for the country.

08 September 2011

What WikiLeaks cables on Apple really reveal about anti-counterfeiting in China

The surge of publicity caused by diplomatic cables published on WikiLeaks that reveal how Apple did not have an anti-counterfeiting team in China until 2008 proves the significance of the media in brand protection plans. Meanwhile, many brand owners remain reticent: Apple’s spokespeople are quoted nowhere in relation to the WikiLeaks story. But Jack Chang, the chairman of China’s Quality Brands Protection Committee, has told WTR that this is something brand owners ought not to shy away from.

07 July 2011

Administrator's statements not valid justification for registering domain names

In Giorgio Armani SpA v Essential Mall Pty Ltd, Giorgio Armani SpA has obtained the transfer of the domain names ‘’ and ‘’ under the ‘.au’ Dispute Resolution Policy. The registrant sought to rely on the fact that the Australian domain name administrator had confirmed that ‘.au’ domain names were allocated on a first-come, first-served basis subject to eligibility rules.

18 May 2011

Registration of licence agreement to be compulsory if used for franchise

The Department of Business Development of the Ministry of Commerce has organised a public hearing on a new act entitled the "Franchise Business Operations Act BE". Under the new law, the registration of a trademark licence agreement will be compulsory if the trademark owner uses the mark at issue in association with a franchise business.

11 May 2011

No infringement under Trademarks Act, but licence breached

In Symbion Pharmacy Services Pty Ltd v Idameneo (No 789) Limited, the Federal Court has dismissed an allegation of infringement of the applicant’s trademark under the Trademarks Act 1995, but has held that the respondent’s use of the mark in question nonetheless breached the terms of a licence governing the use of the mark.

29 March 2011

Will China’s growing awareness for IP kill the trademark squatters?

The advantages of China’s first-to-file registration system may be waning. Not only have recent auctions failed to attract much business, now some reports suggest that China’s growing awareness of IP rights may be killing off apparent trademark squatters’ chances of success.

21 March 2011

Bill proposes changes to profits tax deduction

The Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2011 has recently been gazetted. The bill seeks to implement the 2010-2011 Budget by proposing changes to the existing provisions on profits tax deduction. Major changes proposed by the bill include providing tax deduction for capital expenditure incurred on the purchase of a copyright, registered design and registered trademark.

24 January 2011

No implied waiver of approval system by conduct and practice

In Playboy Enterprises International Inc v Zillion Choice Sdn Bhd, the High Court has ruled that, in relation to trademark licensing, no conduct or practice at variance with the contractual terms constitutes a waiver of the licensor’s right to demand exact compliance with the written terms of the agreement.

21 July 2010

Chinese search giant sells keywords to fake pharma

Owing to several high-profile court cases against Google, keywords are a major bone of contention for trademark owners in the United States and Europe. But can the same be said of other jurisdictions, where different search engines dominate? How about China? Recent allegations that suggest China's premier search engine is complicit in the promotion of counterfeit medicines paint a worrying picture.

29 March 2010

Trademark troubles in China: taking a ‘back to basics’ approach

While many trademark owners recognize the challenges in protecting their brand in China, is there more that can be done prior to registration to protect the mark? For many companies the answer is ‘yes’ – and it all starts long before the brand is actually launched in the country.

17 March 2010

Apple loses battle for control of family of 'iMarks'

In Apple Inc v Wholesale Central Pty Ltd, a delegate of the registrar of trademarks has dismissed Apple Inc’s opposition to the registration of a device mark which consisted of a stylized representation of the word 'dopi'. Apple had opposed the registration because 'dopi' is 'iPod' spelt backwards. The delegate rejected Apple's argument that the representation of the letter 'I' in DOPI resulted in it being the dominant and distinctive feature of the mark.