Thursday, 16 February 2017

Privacy law update - data breaches must now be notified

It is time to review your cyber security posture

In brief
Australia’s federal privacy laws are set for their most significant amendment since the introduction of the Australian Privacy Principles in 2012.  

On Monday, Parliament passed the Privacy Amendments (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 (the Bill), which will make it mandatory for entities regulated by the Privacy Act to notify of any data breach that is likely to result in serious harm.

These amendments have been a long time coming.  They were originally recommended as part of the Australian Law Reform Committee’s 2008 report on Australia’s privacy laws, and then were proposed as part of the legislative package of changes in 2015 that required telecommunications providers to store metadata.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Goodbye ATMOSS, hello ‘Australian Trade Mark Search’

On Saturday 11 February 2017, trade mark professionals will bid farewell to ATMOSS (the current trade mark searching system), as IP Australia launches the new ‘Australian Trade Mark Search’.  After the launch, users will be automatically redirected from ATMOSS to the Australian Trade Mark Search.  Key features include new text searches, wildcards and image searching. The new system is more user friendly, will improve efficiencies in searching, and will assist practitioners more broadly with trade mark filing strategy and advice.  

If you have any queries relating to the new system or need advice regarding trade marks, please contact:

Belinda Breakspear

It’s a case of better the Kylie you know as trade mark battle ends

Australian pop-star Kylie Minogue’s long running battle with reality tv-star Kylie Jenner, and Jenner’s attempt to trade mark the name ‘Kylie’ appears to have ended. 

Kylie Jenner, the youngest of the Kardashian clan, submitted a U.S. trade mark application in 2015 to protect her first name in relation to advertising and endorsement services. 

Minogue’s representative business, KBD, retaliated by filing a notice of opposition to the application on the basis that Minogue is an “internationally renowned performing artist, humanitarian, and breast cancer activist known worldwide simply as ‘Kylie’” while Jenner is “a secondary reality television personality”.  The notice went on to argue that the Kylie trade mark would likely cause confusion with, and tarnish, Minogue’s long list of existing trade mark registrations including Kylie Minogue Darling, Kylie Minogue and her website

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Unfair contract terms regime

The long-awaited laws protecting small businesses from unfair terms have taken effect across Australia. As of 12 November 2016, any terms that are ‘unfair’ in new or renewed contracts could be deemed void and unenforceable. While we are yet to see how the courts and tribunals will interpret this new legislation, the ACCC released a report last week providing a breakdown of some common worrying terms identified in the advertising, telecommunications, retail leasing, independent contracting, franchising, waste management and agriculture industries. The report provides practical guidance on how businesses can comply with these new laws including practical examples of the kinds of changes the ACCC recommends businesses make. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Lower costs for brand protection in Australia - IP Australia fee changes

IP Australia has announced changes to the official fees for trade mark applications and renewals in Australia, to take effect from 10 October 2016.  Changes to Madrid Protocol applications designating Australia are scheduled to take effect from 28 October 2016.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Cotton On in the wrong with trade mark infringement?

Cotton On is facing litigation in the Federal Court of Australia from a sole trader in the United States who claims that the 1,400 store clothing chain copied her trade mark protected brand, ‘LETTUCE TURNIP THE BEET.’  

New York designer Elektra Prinz Gorski filed an application with the Federal Court of Australia in April this year for loss and damage, claiming that Cotton On knew or ought to have known that Cotton On’s t-shirt products bearing the phrase ‘LETTUCE TURNIP THE BEET’ infringed Ms Gorski’s trade mark and copyright.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

A bite out of Apple

US technology giant Apple has lost its latest court battle over the rights to use the ‘iPhone’ trade mark in China.

The circumstances are not foreign to Apple - in 2012, the company paid $60 million to settle a similar dispute regarding the right to use the ‘iPad’ name in China.

In this matter, Apple applied for the ‘iPhone’ trade mark in China in 2002 for computer hardware and software in China.  However, Chinese company Xintong Tiandi applied for a trade mark for leather goods bearing the word ‘iPhone’, which was approved before Apple’s 2002 application.