Are initial letters a good trade mark?

It is quite common today for businesses to abbreviate their name to its initial letters.  The Trade Marks Office is willing to register combinations of three or more letters, provided that they are not a well known acronym for the goods or services to be protected by the trade mark application. However, from a trade […]

Searches a must before using a new trade mark

What you need to do In the excitement of starting a new business, or launching a new product, you may overlook one important step – carrying out searches to see whether there are any similar trade marks out there in the same field that may prevent you using your chosen mark. Searches can be carried […]

I own my business/domain/social media name – don’t I?

It depends on what you mean by “own” – but if you mean that you have exclusive rights to the name and can prevent competitors from using it – no, not really.  A trade mark registration is the only way to own a name in this sense.   Trade marks vs business and other names A […]

Using a company’s logo to criticise the company

AGL v GreenpeaceAGL, an Australian energy company, used the logo: AGL claimed ownership of the copyright in this logo as well as having registered the logo as a trade mark. Copyright works can include artistic works, such as a logo, and literary works, including business documents. Greenpeace has a long history of environmental activism. It […]

Fearless Girl meets Australian Intellectual Property Law

Fearless Girl is the name of a bronze statue of a strong and confident girl created by Kristen Visbal and installed in New York City in 2017.  The statue was funded by financial company State Street US and its unveiling was timed to coincide with a marketing campaign by State Street US that sought to […]

Is a descriptive trade mark the best mark for your business?

Businesses often choose a trade mark that exactly describes their business or product eg Smith & Co Plumbing, being the plumbing business run by Mr Smith.  There is nothing wrong with this.  The name is easy to remember and easily searchable.  If the business is likely to remain a small, family owned business that will […]

The Curious Case of Pinnacle and the Bikinis

FactsThe case of Pinnacle Runway Pty Ltd v Triangl Limited [2019] FCA 1662 (10 October 2019) considered whether Pinnacle’s trade mark DELPHINE, which was registered in class 25 for clothing, headwear and swimwear, was infringed by use of the word DELPHINE as a style of one of Triangl’s bikinis.  Triangl sold a range of approximately […]

Is a descriptive trade mark the best for your business?

Businesses often choose a trade mark that exactly describes their business or product eg Smith & Co Plumbing, being the plumbing business run by Mr Smith.  There is nothing wrong with this.  The name is easy to remember and easily searchable.  If the business is likely to remain a small, family owned business that will […]