Saturday, May 30, 2009

Google Wave

'a new tool for communication and collaboration on the web'

being slated as a project 'which seeks to overthrow email as the dominant mode of internet communication and replace it with a new hybrid'

not sure about everyone else, but for my money, the simplicity, ubiquity and accessibility of email will take some beating

sure, the world is becoming more 'always connected', but not needing to be connected and the asynchronous nature of email are two of the significant attributes of email

Keyword Trademark decision from Germany

Thanks to Maximilian Schubert for this one.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Twitter Squatting

There might be better names to twittersquat than the NSW Police?

Domain name loss for Apple iPhone and iPod designer Jonathon Ives

sound trademark case

We don't see many of these - I'm not sure if we have ever had an
infringement action for a sound mark in Australia.

Monday, May 25, 2009

More changes to Google AdWords Policy

In the US, from June 2009, Google will permit the use of another's trademark in the text of AdWords ads, in certain circumstances.

Google will 'use multiple criteria to determine whether an ad with a given term in its text adheres to [their] policy. [They] permit a trademarked term to be used in the ad text of ads that appear to be submitted by resellers; informational sites; the makers or resellers of components or parts for the goods and services related to the trademark term; or compatible components or parts for the goods and services related to the trademark term. The product or services from resellers must be on the ad's landing page and must be clearly available for purchase.'

another case about Google AdWords and registered trade marks - from the UK

In this instance, as has been the case in some other AdWords actions, the search provider (Google) has not been the defendant.

Interflora v 'Marks & Sparks'

Once again, another good summary on

eBay liability for TM infringing items in Europe

eBay successfully defends trademark action by L'Oreal over allegedly
counterfeit items sold on eBay

The full decision is at

As points out, there are a number of European decisions on this issue, with three decisions in favour of eBay (UK, France and Belgium), one decision in favour of L'Oréal (Germany) and one decision (from Spain) still outstanding.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Google turnover to hit the big 1B?

Some great research from Nicholas Weston

sucks sites

Some key points to help in determining whether 'sucks' sites might
withstand legal challenges.

A local example of such a site can be seen at http:// (the target in case being Melbourne's suburban
railway operator, Connex)

Both the sources below present this information from the perspective
of a 'sucks' site creator, but the points are raised may also be of
value to organisations targeted by such sites.

From EFF and Eric Goldman.

Microsoft Contextual Advertising network moves from beta

Content Ads is Microsoft's keyword-targeted advertising service competing with Google's AdSense network and other providers.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Google's latest algorithm application

Pre-emptive identification of employees likely to leave - is this sounding a bit like the movie Minority Report?

Further to my recent posts on the Buzzle/Apple litigation

I stumbled accross this material associated with the documentary that
ran on the ABC

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Twitter for jurors....

Finally - response to conduct by high cost SMS service providers


The offensive conduct of these so called 'premium' providers - even
that label is totally off the mark - has been a particular bug bear of
mine for some time.

It is extremely unfortunate that the regulators, ACMA and for that
matter, the ACCC and/or state consumer protection bodies have taken so
long to react to this insidious conduct.

It will be interesting to see how well this code and statutory
provisions are monitored and enforced.

The providers behind this conduct should be fundamentally more
accessible and susceptible to regulatory measures and sanctions than
spammers, a bit of late night TV watching and reading of the right
print media by ACMA monitors will go a long way to dealing with the

These measures are a good start, but a few specific issues stood out
based on my quick review

- the advertising to under 15 year olds - difficult to define in
- the 'Premium' SMS barring rule - the option for customers to bar
premium SMS messages by July 2010 - should be the default setting on
mobile phones/mobile networks - many mobile carriers have their
customers services barred from international calls - requiring an 'opt
in' to access these services - a similar approach would work well in
regard to the ability to receive these 'premium' text messages.
- the enhanced 'double opt-in' procedure should require full
disclosure of all costs and opt out details

Now we just need some action on the conduct of the mobile phone

- use of the word 'caps' for products that are anything but, and;

- advertising 'included calls' as meaningless dollar amounts, rather
than actual minutes (as is the practice elsewhere - such as the USA).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Google amends trademarks as keywords policy in some markets

For a list of countries where Google will not investigate complaints
by trademark owners over the use of trademarks as keywords, see

So, in Australia Google seems to have retained the policy that
'advertisers might not be allowed to use certain trademarks as
keywords or as ad text per the request of the trademark owner'.

Google Trademark class action

Thanks for the info Eric.

the envelope being pushed

Having settled the BookSearch matter and facing actions over it's
aggregation of online news, Google keeps challenging copyright in a
search context.

Monday, May 11, 2009

allegedly more 'professional' bloggers than lawyers in the US ;-(

reminds me of The Simpsons episode where Lionel Hutz poses the
question 'imagine a world without lawyers' - followed by vision of a
world full of happy people all getting on

maybe the lawyer jokes will taper off and we'll have blogger jokes

What market are we in...

Another perfect example for students of the critical role definition
of market plays in competition law.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Criminal provisions equivalent to s52 Trade Practices Act

Graeme Samuel thinks it's a good idea.

I think this is a valid point - there are grounds for criminal
sanctions for certain misleading and deceptive and misleading conduct
under s 75AZC - but no general ground akin to s52.

Although from the article above, it seems the alleged Dodo
misrepresentations relate to price and would, on the face of it,
likely be caught by s75AZC(1)(g), covering conduct that amounts to a
false or misleading representation about the price of goods or services.

Maximum 10,000 penalty unit ($1,100,000) for a breach of these

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What do Tacos and Apple computers have in common

reminiscent of the Taco Bell and Burger King trademark cases

More on the Buzzle hangover

some interesting comments posted

Ghosts of times past

I spent almost ten years as General Manager of one of the firms that
went into the Buzzle debacle.

Now a legal academic - with some teaching in corporations and research in insolvency law.

New worlds and old ones colliding ;-)

I had no idea Princess Mary of Denmark (as she now is) was involved in the episode.

Does that make me connected to royalty?

Here is the court details for today if anyone in Sydney is keen to have
a sticky beak




Not sure how far they will get with the argument that Apple's Finance
Director, Jim Likidis, was a shadow director of Buzzle.

Interesting case to follow - I'll be trying to get some more details.