Mainly intellectual property (IP) issues Down Under

Not using a trade mark

An Austrian company, Maselli, sells clothing under its brand WELLNESS.  It has the trade mark registered for clothing in class 25 and also in classes 16 (for printed matter) and class 32 (for alcohol free drinks).  It gave away bottles of a non-alcoholic drink bearing the WELLNESS brand, but never sold the drinks independently of the clothing. On application by Silberquelle, a producer of alcohol free drinks,  the ECJ has ruled.. Read More

IPRIA, ISPs and (Copryight) authorisation

IPRIA is hosting a free seminar on ISPs liability for authorising copyright infringement. Impressive range of panellists. Possibly the only hotter topic in copyright is what is a reproduction of a substantial part. Score a CPD point! 5 February 2009 at 5.30 for 6.00pm. Details via here.

The USA, China and the WTO dispute

The dispute resolution panel’s decision in the USA’s complaint against China’s rules on enforcement, “Measures affecting the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights” (DS362) (background here) has been published. There’s a range of commentary around the web.  The  IPKat reproduces the conclusions and, applying sophistaKatted Euro reading between the lines, scores it at 3-all. Intellectual Property Watch’s summary here.  According to the USTR, the US won. Not sure what has.. Read More

Spam Act fine

Optus has been fined AUD$110,000 under the Spam Act 2003 for sending out 20,000 electronic messages without adequate sender identification. Peter Black carries the report. On a different note: why doesn’t Australia have laws against junk faxes?

3 strikes – across the Tasman

Apparently, New Zealand’s copyright law has been amended to require ISPs to terminate the account of a “repeat infringer”. Excess Copyright has the links. Our law – Copyright Act s 116AG – already provides that a Court may order the “carriage service provider” to terminate a specified account.

Patent destruction policy

In Australia (since the famous McCabe v BAT case (overturned on appeal), of course, we know them as “document retention” policies. In the US, a Federal District Court judge has ruled that Rambus cannot enforce a patent relating to DRAM technology as a result of its policy, implemented in 1998, of destroying documents where the court held Rambus should have known litigation was likely. A different judge, in the District.. Read More

Microsoft, the EU, Internet Explorer and tying again

On 15 January 2009, the European Commission commenced new proceedings against Microsoft alleging that Microsoft was abusing its dominant position in the market by tying Internet Explorer to the Windows operating system: According to the Commission: The evidence gathered during the investigation leads the Commission to believe that the tying of Internet Explorer with Windows, which makes Internet Explorer available on 90% of the world’s PCs, distorts competition on the.. Read More

Patent case management

In the USA, Professor Peter Menell and others are preparing a comprehensive case management guide for patent litigation for the Federal judiciary. The “almost final” 500 page draft can be found here. Lid dip: Patently-O

Digital Economy – Future Directions consultation

The convolutedly named The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has issued a consultation paper for industry on the Digital Economy Future Directions. Apparently, the consultation draft arises from workshops held in August and September 2008. There is considerable useful detail about the state and composition of the digital economy in Australia and questions on a range of important issues are posed.  In connection with the regulatory framework issues,.. Read More

PCT survey

IP Australia calls on all Australian users of the PCT to complete WIPO’s online survey: Australian users of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) can make their views known by participating in a survey being run by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the body that administers the PCT. The comprehensive survey covers all aspects of the PCT from electronic filing to search and examination. Follow the links from here.