Is the use of a trade mark in AdWords an infringement?

The concept of ‘Googling’ has become a part of everyday life.  But does anyone ever stop to think how Google results are collated?  In the case of Veda Advantage Limited v Malouf Group Enterprises Pty Limited [2016] FCA 255 (Veda Advantage case) one company did just that, and they were not happy with the answer.  The case concerned the use of registered trade marks as keywords and in the title tags and descriptions of sponsored link advertising in the Google AdWords program. [Read more…]

Introduction to intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP), in the Australian legal context, is much more than copyright and trade marks, it includes confidential information, registered designs, trade secrets, patents and plant breeder’s rights.  The protection of intellectual endeavours has been something which the law has recognised for centuries and something which the innovation agenda has embraced.  IP is becoming increasingly important as organisations strive for competitive advantage in the innovation age (click here or insert).  IP rights arise at both common law and statute and aim to protect a broad category of rights over the fruits of intellectual efforts. These rights fall into two (2) distinct categories, those that are registerable and those that are not.

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What is a certification trade mark?

A certification trade mark (Certification Mark) is a registered intellectual property right that signifies the bearer of the trade mark has met an official standard (such as Australian made).  The standards often associated with a Certification Mark include quality, content, method of manufacture and origin of manufacture.  While a Certification Mark is a form of trade mark that grants the owner a number of exclusive rights in relation to the trade mark, there are fundamental differences between Certification Marks and standard trade marks.  [Read more…]

Government’s response to Productivity Commission’s report on intellectual property

The Australian Government has released its response to the Productivity Commission’s report into intellectual property arrangements in Australia.  The Productivity Commission (Commission) made numerous recommendations, a number of which were major departures from the current arrangements in Australia.  This article discusses these recommendations, the government’s response, and what amendments to intellectual property laws we may expect to see in the near future. [Read more…]

Changes to Trade Mark Application Fees are Now Live

On 3 August 2016, IP Australia announced incoming changes to the fees payable for:

  • trade mark applications; and
  • trade mark registrations.[1]

As announced these changes apply to all trade mark applications filed after 10 October 2016.

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Groundless threats of trade mark infringement

Whilst it is important to diligently protect your brand, the recent decision in Stone & Wood Group Pty Ltd v Intellectual Property Development Corporation Pty Ltd [2016] FCA 820 (Pacific Ale Case) serves as a timely reminder that, much like the brewing of a delicious craft beer, making allegations of trade mark infringement requires extensive preparation, research and good judgment. [Read more…]

Trade mark infringement – an introduction

What is a trade mark?

A registered trade mark is a sign which helps distinguish a traders goods or services from other traders. A registered trade mark can help protect and distinguish a brand from other brands in the marketplace, thus becoming a vital component of any effective marketing strategy. In Australia trade mark registration is governed by the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) (Act). [Read more…]

Brand protection in the new millenium

Launching a new brand is a difficult job, regardless of whether you are at the coal face designing the actual logo or attempting to please various stakeholders including an omnipresent board of directors.  Regardless of your taste and preferences for the look and feel of the artwork, there are various things that should be considered in the new millennium to protect all that hard work.

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