Mainly intellectual property (IP) issues Down Under

Copyright reform agenda

The Commonwealth Attorney General’s opening address to the Blue Skies conference is here. Some excerpts: International reforms: While recognising that the challenges of the digital era are a global, not just national, issue, the Attorney General identified access to cultural works by the visually impaired as an area for early action: An example of one area in which I am particularly keen to see a result this year in the.. Read More

iiNet still wins

Appeal dismissed: Roadshow Films Pty Limited v iiNet Limited [2011] FCAFC 23 SMH report However, Jagot J dissented and Emmett J warned: Even though the Copyright Owners are not entitled to the relief claimed in this proceeding, it does not follow that that is an end of the matter.  It is clear that the questions raised in the proceeding are ongoing.  It does not necessarily follow that there would never.. Read More

Trans Tasman IP harmonising – patents

Prime Ministers Gillard (Australia) and Key (EnZed) have reaffirmed their countries’ respective commitment to closer co-operation in (industrial) IP matters between the two countries as part of the Trans Tasman Single Economic Market. Apparently, over the next 5 years our countries will work towards: one regulatory framework for patent attorneys; one trade mark regime; one application process for patents in both jurisdictions; and one plant variety right regime. According to.. Read More

DGTEK v Digiteck II

For DGTEK v Digiteck I, see here. Non-use Lander J considered that the goods covered by Hills’ registration should be limited as a result of non-use for the statutory period of 3 continuous years under s 92. One interesting point on this part of the case is that Bitek had sought removal of all goods in its original application for removal. It accepted that evidence filed by Hills showed use.. Read More

DGTEK v Digiteck I

Lander J has upheld the Registrar’s decision to allow Bitech to register DIGITEK for “TV installation accessories including external TV antennas, none of the foregoing being set-top boxes” in class 9 in the face of Hills’ prior registration for DGTEC, DGTEK and DGTECH in respect of “Digital and electronic products including televisions, video players, DVD players, CD players, decoders and cameras” also in class 9. While the competing marks were deceptively similar,.. Read More

Patentable subject matter in Australia

The Minister has released ACIP’s report into what should be patentable subject matter under Australian law. At the moment, s 18 defines a ‘patentable invention’ and the Dictionary in Sch. 1 defines and “invention” as: “invention” means any manner of new manufacture the subject of letters patent and grant of privilege within section 6 of the Statute of Monopolies, and includes an alleged invention. and, from NRDC (for example) :.. Read More

Wild Geese survive Wild Turkey attack

Anita Brown, over at IPanz, reports on Cowdroy J’s exercise of discretion to leave the Wild Geese trade mark for whiskey on the Registrar, even though non-use throughout the relevant statutory period was proved, on the basis of the perceived risk of public confusion. His Honour also addressed the standing requirement for a non-use action. His Honour’s reasons in full: Austin, Nichols & Co Inc v Lodestar Anstalt [2011] FCA.. Read More

Convergence review

It’s never too late to discover a government inquiry (at least before the legislation comes through)! Back in December, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy announced a Convergence Review. Media Release, draft Terms of Reference and “home page“. Given its departmental provenance and some of the discussion in the Background Paper, it might be thought the Review is mainly targeted at the Telco Act, the Radiocommunications Act.. Read More

Daily List

For those of you with an iPhone (and who practise in the Victorian courts) a free app with the daily court listings: The Daily List Lid dip: James McDougall. Now, if only there were one that covered the Federal Court and the Federal Magistrates Court! (Yes, I know you can get them emailed automatically.)

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