Georgina Hey (AU)

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My oh my Myanmar! 

The Myanmar government has recently flagged its intention to implement new trade mark laws commencing mid-2020. This is good news for global brand owners hoping for Myanmar’s laws to be better aligned to international trade mark standards. However, brand owners must take positive steps to ensure that their trade marks remain protected under the new … Continue reading

China update: Good news (with a warning) for brand owners outsourcing the manufacturing of their products in China

Global trade is currently a clear focus between nations around the world, and we are seeing trade agreement negotiations effecting world economies in an increasingly direct fashion. As IP specialists, we are always alive to the legal developments that fall out of these negotiations, particularly how they impact domestic laws in relation to balancing the … Continue reading

Authorised use or something fishy? – Implications for trade mark ‘use’ in Australia in the inter-company context

Trade mark licensing arrangements can often offer significant benefits for trade mark owners by increasing brand exposure and royalty revenue streams. However, as we have previously reported, recent Australian cases (such as Lodestar Anstalt v Campari America LLC [2016] FCAFC 92 (Lodestar)) demonstrated that licensing arrangements may expose trade mark owners to the risk of … Continue reading

Review of sugar labelling a sweet victory for health advocates, and yet more packaging and labelling changes required for business in Australia?

Shoppers reaching for a sweet, refreshing bottle of soft drink may soon find themselves confronted by the sour reality of 33 small icons of teaspoons – equivalent to the average sugar content of 1.25 litres of soft drink (see here). The Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (Forum) recently announced a review … Continue reading

The highs and lows of the 2019 Australian IP Report

The highs and lows of the 2019 Australian IP Report To mark World Intellectual Property Day, IP Australia released its seventh edition of the Australian Intellectual Property Report 2019 (Report). The Report provides a snapshot of the Australian IP landscape in 2018 by consolidating data, highlighting trends and critically analysing its future. In this article, … Continue reading

Ghost of rulings past: why virtual designs are not yet covered by Australian IP law

Virtual or non-physical designs, which include graphical user interfaces and screen icons, are designs that impact the appearance of a product through software displayed on an electronic screen. Many of these designs have become ubiquitous in our everyday lives. Well-known and familiar virtual designs range from the Snapchat ghost app button on our phones to … Continue reading

Copyright vs Freedom of the Internet: Round 1 just passed the European Parliament

At the end of last month, the European Union Parliament adopted a controversial new “Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market” (Directive). One of the stated aims of the Directive is to give copyright holders such as musicians, artists, performers and authors greater bargaining power against tech giants like Google, YouTube and Facebook in … Continue reading

No safe harbour: Online platforms face choppy waters when it comes to copyright infringement

The liability of internet intermediaries for copyright infringement is a hot topic of conversation at the moment, both in Australia and overseas. Sweeping reforms have just been passed by the EU Parliament, and Australian copyright legislation in this area has been the subject of significant judicial consideration in recent years. In this article, we consider … Continue reading

Good to know: The US trademark office has a ‘proof of use’ audit program for trademark registrations

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires trademark owners to support their trademark registrations by providing one specimen of use per class, at both 6 years and 10 years after the trademark registration date. So, for instance, if you have a registration covering ‘clothing, footwear and headgear’ in class 25, providing the US trademark … Continue reading

Are tougher days coming for approval of agribusiness certification trademarks in Australia?

On 22 November 2018 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued its initial assessment of the rules governing use of four certification trade marks in the name of OxoPak Pty Ltd, indicating its intention deny approval for the certification rules, and therefore the trade marks will be denied.… Continue reading

No use crying over spilt (plant-based-dairy-free-alternatives-to) milk?

Every trendy café these days seems to have a selection of dairy-free milk alternatives as long as a wine list, from the usual suspects like soy, coconut and almond, to more unusual new favourites like rice, hemp, pea, flax and oat. With vegan, dairy-free or plant-based diets becoming more and more popular for health, environmental, … Continue reading

Amended Australian IP laws receive Royal Assent with little fanfare

On 24 August 2018, the creatively named Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 1 and Other Measures) Bill 2018 quietly received Royal Assent, with some parts of the new Act entering into force the following day. As the name indicates, the primary focus of the new legislation is to implement the recommendations made … Continue reading

Mirror, mirror on the wall, what’s my taxable Insta value after all?

In sad news for celebrities and Instagram influencers across Australia, the introduction of the so-called ‘fame tax’ as part of a raft of integrity measures announced in the 2018/19 budget means that they could end up paying higher taxes on the income and non-cash benefits earned through the commercial exploitation of their image rights. In … Continue reading

The European Commission has its say: EU trade marks post-Brexit

On 28 February 2018, the European Commission released its draft withdrawal agreement setting out a proposal on the arrangements for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU (Withdrawal Agreement). The full text of the Withdrawal Agreement can be viewed here: European Commission’s Draft Withdrawal Agreement dated 28 February 2018 (see Title IV on Intellectual … Continue reading

Cybersquatters – How to protect your brand from unwanted ‘guests’ online

The internet is now the normal conduit for everyday personal, commercial and social transactions. It is more important than ever to ensure that your consumers know where to find your business online, and that no third parties are seeking to trade off your reputation in the online space. Domain names are the primary form of … Continue reading

What Brexit means for IP: The UK Law Society, the IP Bar, CIPA and CITMA weigh in on Brexit strategy

It’s no surprise that many in the professional and legal services industries are putting increasing thought into what the post-Brexit world will, or should, look like. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) in the UK has been the latest body to put its two cents (or pennies) into the mix. Brand owners from all … Continue reading

New country of origin food labelling requirements for Australia – is your packaging up to scratch?

Businesses have until 1 July 2018 to transition to a new system of country of origin labelling for food products in Australia. The incoming Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016 (Standard) imposes stricter labelling requirements on “priority”, as opposed to “non-priority”, foods and is intended to help consumers better understand where their food … Continue reading

Managing your products when a patent expires – how good brand management can maintain product and brand awareness, and build market share

The Australian Government’s recently expressed interest in cracking down on misuses of market power may have left some patent holders with concerns about the proposed amendments to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act). All the fuss relates to section 46 of the Act: the provision which prohibits a company with a substantial degree … Continue reading

‘Apples, Beatles and four decades of litigation’ – Cautionary tales for start-ups settling on a new brand name

Apple: the world’s most successful company, with an estimated worth of three-quarters of a trillion dollars. It’s no wonder that would-be tech entrepreneurs around the world are sitting around in black turtlenecks, jeans and New Balance sneakers, poring over Steve Jobs’ biography and trying to work out how they might emulate his success in their … Continue reading

Rebranding 4.0: Why authenticity matters to socially-aware consumers, and how to convey it

Increasingly affordable renewables, coupled with consumers’ sensitivity to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, are driving a profound shift in energy markets worldwide. Nowhere is this more apparent than in brand equity, and the trust levels displayed by the public towards traditional energy businesses versus green, dynamic start-ups. Rebranding is a powerful tool to close … Continue reading

Promoting an innovation economy – Australian Government responds to Productivity Commission’s report into IP arrangements

We recently published an article on the potential impact on the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry Report on Intellectual Property Arrangements (Report) on Australia’s innovation economy. The Australian Government has now responded to the Report, supporting the Commission’s recommendations to reform the patent system, but stopping short of embracing the extensive copyright overhaul recommended in the Report, … Continue reading

Rebranding in the energy market – The issues to consider

A number of energy giants have recently undergone corporate rebranding exercises. The motivations of these powerhouses often vary, from unifying a group after a series of mergers and acquisitions, to repairing reputational damage, to just aligning with a new corporate vision.  Tesla dropped “Motors” from its branding in 2016 to promote its clean energy solutions … Continue reading
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