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Posts Tagged: "Australia"

How to Trademark Hashtags in Australia

A hashtag is a useful way to promote your brand on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. When the name of a brand, a tagline or catchphrase is hashtagged in a post, other users of the platform can find the hashtag easily by simply searching for that particular tag. It’s become an essential part of every brand’s social media marketing strategy. It can be used to attract new customers and engage with them. IP Australia updated the Australian Trade Marks Office Manual of Practice and Procedure in 2016 to include a definition for a hashtag and offers some guidelines for businesses to follow. It also lists examples of what could be seen as ambiguous cases, which you can look at to see if they could also relate to the eligibility of your brand.

World Intellectual Property Indicators 2017: Design Patent Highlights

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published its annual World Intellectual Property Indicators. For the second consecutive year, the number of design applications filed worldwide continued to grow, with an estimated 963,100 applications filed in total globally. The 2016 growth rate was 10.4%, following 2015’s more modest growth rate of 2.3% and 2014’s 10.2% drop in applications. 90% of the growth in 2016 can be attributed to increased filings in China.

Feeling Conflicted: Australian Patent Attorney Firms Under Scrutiny

As previously reported on this blog, in the last two years several large Australian patent attorney firms (having a combined market share of close to 70% in Australia) have been listed on the stock exchange or been acquired by publicly listed companies. This means that almost 70% of the market share of Australian patent filings is controlled by three publicly listed companies… In our opinion, the conflict of interest provisions in the Code of Conduct (the Code) for Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys 2013 (Cth) (“the Code”) do not address the very real and unique conflict issues faced by the sibling firms’ attorneys on a daily basis.

President-Elect Trump Says the TPP is Dead, but What Now for IP?

President-Elect Donald Trump has announced that he will withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement on his first day in office. So ends more than five years of often heated negotiations led by President Barack Obama’s administration as part of an overall strategy to strengthen the US position in the Pacific Rim region… Pulling out of the TPP is a missed opportunity for the US to pursue its IPR agenda in the Pacific Rim economies.

Will Australia’s Listed Firms Save the IP Profession from Stagnation?

My fellow Australian patent attorney Andy Mukherji recently asked the question on this site: Are Australia’s listed IP firms doomed to fail? Doubtless the hyperbole was intentional, but Andy raises a fair point. The Australian IP professions – registered patent and trade marks attorneys (who, for the most part, would be recognized as patent agents rather than attorneys in the US) and IP lawyers – are currently engaged in what might well be regarded as a brave and daring experiment. Prior to 15 April 2013 the regulatory regime in Australia did not even permit patent attorneys to incorporate. Now, less than four years later, not only have many firms chosen to take up the option of incorporation, but Australia now has (to the best of my knowledge) the largest number of publicly-listed IP firms per capita in the world!

Are Australia’s listed IP firms doomed to fail?

Over the last two years, the Australian patent and trade mark attorney profession has seen a number of significant changes. The 2013 amendments to the Patents Act 1990, meant that Australian patent and trade mark attorney firms could incorporate. This led to the consolidation of some of Australia’s biggest patent and trade mark attorney firms. These consolidated firms have subsequently listed on the Australian Stock Exchange to raise capital and have since been on an aggressive acquisition spree to achieve market dominance… In short, there are inherent conflicts of interest when an individual or entity is obliged to act for both clients and shareholders.

Hop on the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) via Australia

IP Australia actually has built into its quota system a driver for completing prosecution of open cases before taking up new cases. Therefore, there is a rule inside IP Australia that an Examiner must respond to communication from an applicant within 20 days of receiving the applicant’s communication. Oftentimes, it is sooner. Therefore, an application will not languish at the bottom of the Examiner’s work pile and the case will get attention from the Examiner in short order.

Protection of Official Names of States and Prevention of their Registration and Use as Trademarks

Protection of the official names of States and prevention of their registration and use as trademarks have been the focus of attention of the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications at the World Intellectual Property Organization (the “SCT”) for over six years (since June 2009). Each of the WIPO Member States has both its own national procedures with their peculiarities and some coinciding positions on the subject. Generally speaking, when performing the examination, the competent national authority examines the sign applied for registration as a trademark and consisting of or containing the name of a State in light of formal and substantive legal requirements, like any other sign.

World Intellectual Property Indicators 2015: Design Patent Highlights

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published its annual World Intellectual Property Indicators. The 2015 report dissects the macro trends associated with filing activity and registrations for 2014 in the following intellectual property areas: patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and plant varieties… The twenty-year era of growth in industrial design patent applications came to an abrupt end in 2014… The decline in global applications stems primarily from the pronounced decrease in resident filings at the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO), which fell 14.9% over the past year.

Australia Releases Guidelines on Patentability of Genetic Material – Now That’s How It’s Done

The Australian Patent Office yesterday released its new guidelines in response to Australia’s High Court decision on the patentability of genetic material. The good news for Australia, though cold comfort for us on the other side of the Pacific, is that the Australian Patent Office has shown our counterpart US institutions the correct way to interpret and apply an important new case carving specific subject matter out of the broad default of patent eligibility. Rather than declaring ineligible from patenting everything under the sun “involving” a law or product of nature, Australia has instead read the High Court’s decision faithfully yet narrowly to exclude exactly what it said it excluded.

Patentability of Business Methods and Software In Australia – Full Federal Court Decides Much Anticipated Research Affiliates Case

The Australian Full Federal Court recently handed down its decision in Research Affiliates LLC v Commissioner of Patents. The decision is an important addition to Australian case law concerning the patentability of business methods and software. Judges Kenny, Bennett, and Nicholas ruled that the Appellant’s claimed computer implemented method for generating an index for use in securities trading was unpatentable as an abstract idea. The Court held that “[t]he claimed method in this case clearly involves what may well be an inventive idea, but it is an abstract idea. The specification makes it apparent that any inventive step arises in the creation of the index as information and as a scheme. There is no suggestion in the specification or the claims that any part of the inventive step lies in the computer implementation.

Obvious Inventions Patentable: The Australian Innovation Patent

Essentially, innovation patents are 8 year short form patents available in Australia as an alternative, or in parallel with standard, or utility, patents. An innovation patent can be filed on an obvious invention, is hard to invalidate and, when filed as a divisional from a standard patent application, can be infringed from a date before the standard patent application was published.

McDonald’s Australian Rebrand: “Macca’s”, a Local Slang Name

But this article is less concerned with actual imperialism, and more with cultural imperialism –particularly the “invasion” of this country by that once all-American, but now global, fast-food chain known variously in its land of origin as McDonald’s, the Golden Arches and Mickey-D’s. Here in Australia, however, McDonald’s most prevalent nickname is “Macca’s”. A recent branding survey commissioned by McDonald’s Australia found that 55 per cent of Australians refer to the company by its local slang name. But the temporary Macca’s rebranding also raises some interesting trademark issues.

Google Settles Copyright Dispute with Belgian Newspaper

This case started back in 2006, when the newspaper publishers took Google to court, stating that the popular search engine was infringing on their copyright. They had been trying to get Google to compensate them for using their online content, claiming that as more and more readers turned to the Internet to get their news, less and less readers were utilizing their printed versions. Under the new agreement, Google will team up with the Rossel Group, a major media group in Brussels that owns some of the top newspapers such as Le Soir and L’Echo; and the IPM Group which puts out publications L’Avenir and La Libre Belgique.

Apple’s ‘Innovative’ Australian Patent Strategy

As readers will no doubt be aware, Australia is one of the jurisdictions in which Apple is currently pursuing litigation against its Android-based smartphone and tablet competitors. The claims and counter-claims by Apple and Samsung are the subject of a trial in the Australian Federal Court in Sydney which has now been extended into the first months of 2013. According to reports, as many as 22 Apple patents have been asserted against Samsung, although it is as yet unclear how many of these will actually be pressed at trial. A number of the asserted patents are innovation patents. An ‘innovation patent’, is in many respects unique to Australia. An innovation patent provides a ‘second tier’ right, with a lower barrier to validity than the conventional inventive step test, and a shorter maximum term of protection of just eight years.