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Intellectual Property

Nike v Lil Nas X – Satan Shoes and the Issue of Brand Dilution from an Australian Lens

Lil Nas X recently caused more than a little controversy after he commenced distributing his personally-designed Satan Shoes, being Nike Air Max 97 runners altered (without approval) to feature a satanic theme (including allegedly adding red ink and human blood to the midsole). His efforts caught the attention of Nike, Inc., who then sued MSCHF … Read More

Calidad v Seiko: How you can only sell something once and how that might affect patent drafting

On 12 November 2020, a majority of the High Court of Australia in Calidad Pty Ltd v Seiko Epson Corporation [2020] HCA 41 endorsed the “exhaustion of rights” doctrine in preference to the doctrine of “implied licence’, finding that the exclusive rights of the patentee – being to hire, use, sell, or otherwise dispose of … Read More

Eligibility rule changes for .org.au domain names

New domain name eligibility rules affecting the .au country code Top Level Domain came into effect on 12 April 2021. These rules will particularly affect unincorporated associations. Whereas net.au and .com.au domain names may be registered by commercial entities such as companies and businesses, .org.au domain names are reserved for ‘not-for-profit’ entities. The relevant licensing … Read More

A good news business story from 2020 – the continuing growth Eloments Organic Vitamin Tea

Amidst a universally acknowledged horrible year for new Australian businesses, it is nice to highlight the emergency of a business moving forward with new innovative products. Co-founded by Julie Hirsch and Nicole Lamond, Eloments Organic Vitamin Tea is one of the world’s first natural vitamin and mineral enriched brands, designed to provide customers an easy … Read More

TikTok, Parkinson’s Disease and a good-news story of Collaborative Innovation

A story of design innovation and ingenuity emerging from the video sharing app TikTok™ should not be as surprising as it first appears. Jimmy Choi, an American marathon runner and Ninja Warrior competitor, posted a video to social media site TikTok™ in late December 2020. Choi was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2003 and demonstrated … Read More

A look at IP Australia’s Indigenous Knowledge Project

IP Australia (i.e. Australia’s Patent, Designs, Trade Marks and PBR Office) recently released further details of its upcoming Indigenous Knowledge Project, including a Work Plan for 2020-2021. The Work Plan outlines several proposed initiatives for greater protection of indigenous knowledge and indigenous cultural expressions. Perhaps most immediately, IP Australia has forecast upcoming consultations on proposed … Read More

Not lovin’ it: McDonald’s sues Hungry Jack’s over ‘Big Jack’ trade mark

On 28 August, global fast food giant McDonald’s Asia Pacific LLC (McDonald’s) launched Federal Court proceedings against long-time rival Hungry Jack’s Pty Ltd (Hungry Jack’s), alleging Hungry Jack’s has infringed its famous “Big Mac” trade mark with its lookalike burger, “Big Jack”. Since 1973, McDonald’s has sold its “Big Mac” burgers across Australia and has … Read More

Smart Trade Mark: A New Era in Consumer Confidence?

As online retail becomes more and more prevalent, the costs to Australian businesses due to counterfeit products are increasing. It is therefore vital that consumers can identify genuine retailers from counterfeiters. IP Australia has introduced and is currently testing a new pilot program entitled Smart Trade Mark™ to assist consumers in verifying the genuine use … Read More

The absence of the Aboriginal Flag from the AFL’s Indigenous Round highlights Clothing The Gap’s continuing fight to #FreeTheFlag

Last weekend, the Aboriginal Flag was absent from the AFL’s Indigenous Round for the first time in fourteen years. The Indigenous Round highlighted that the Australian Aboriginal Flag is still marred in copyright and licensing controversies. While many Aboriginal persons, Aboriginal-owned businesses, organisations acknowledging and supporting Aboriginal culture and history, as well as many members … Read More

Three reasons why you should file your trade mark in Australia

  1. Australia has a sizeable revenue stream and steady economy. The Australian economy has grown at a healthy pace for nearly three decades.[1] In 2019, Australia was ranked the 4th wealthiest nation in terms of median wealth per adult head.[2] Despite Australia comprising only 0.3% of the world’s population, its economy was expected to … Read More

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