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  • Should you get bent out of shape pursuing trade mark registration for a shape?Posted on February 9, 2017 by
    According to the Australian Trade Mark Search system, as at 9 February 2017, there were 953 shape marks registered as trade marks, and a further 195 pending shape marks.  Some of these marks are shapes used in combination with one or more other kinds of marks (commonly a device, or both word and device), but many are shape marks only. But how useful is a shape mark in protecting the investment made by a business into its branding? Recently, Clipsal Australia, a producer of light switches and other electrical accessories, relied on a shape mark in respect of the shape of its light switch...
  • The Battle of the Kylies - part 2Posted on February 8, 2017 by
     In our previous blog post, we had reported that in a battle for the name KYLIE, Kylie Minogue had opposed a US trade mark application for "KYLIE" by Kylie Jenner, of "Keeping up the with the Kardashians" fame/infamy. The opposition filed included descriptions by Ms Minogue's lawyers of Ms Jenner as a "secondary reality television personality" known for her "photographic exhibitionism" and "controversial posts". As previously discussed, Ms Jenner had also filed trade mark applications for KYLIE in Australia, although they were yet to be open to opposition. When looking at the two count...
  • Are IT project failures common? Posted on January 30, 2017 by
    Heard of a recent IT project failure?  No?  Maybe you need to get out more. If there is one topic on which many organisations don’t seem to need any guidance, it's how to run an IT project off the rails. Ask any non-executive director what they fear most in their Board oversight and high on their list will be the risks associated with a major IT project. Every year, there is a litany of projects that have run off the rails in one shape or another.  And these are just the ones we hear or read about. One of our IT partners, Paul Kallenbach, provided some commen...
  • Trade mark numerologyPosted on January 24, 2017 by
    An analysis of the number of trade mark applications lodged in each class in 2016 reveals a great disparity between the classes. The Numbers The most popular 3 classes in 2016 were: Class 35 – 12,068 applications Class 9 – 10,818 applications Class 41 – 10,047 applications As shown above, the greatest number of applications – namely 12,068 applications – was lodged in class 35. Class 35 covers “Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions” (importantly, this broad description incorporates retail services, which is likely the reason for a good majority...
  • Federal Court interprets 'personal information'. What's it all about people? Posted on January 23, 2017 by
    Kick-starting the privacy debate in Australia in 2017, the Full Federal Court has handed down its judgment in Privacy Commissioner v Telstra Corporation Limited [2017] FCAFC 4.  History of appeal The decision concerns the now infamous dispute (in the privacy world at least!) concerning the meaning of 'personal information'.  A request (described by one of the judges as 'misconceived') was made by journalist Ben Grubb to Telstra in 2013 pursuant to the information access principle in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) for access to metadata about his mobile phone service. W...
  • US Software Patent Law DevelopmentsPosted on January 16, 2017 by
    The Post-Alice Environment for US Software Patents Approximately two years ago, the US Supreme court in the Alice decision considered the in principle patentability of software patents. Since then, gaining US software patents has been very difficult.  In 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the ‘Court’) has considered numerous appeals from district courts relating to patentable subject matter. This blog post discusses the two-step test from the Alice decision and how the test was applied by the Court in 2016, the developing trends for patentable subject matt...

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