Trade marks

Not Bhed, Good Trade Mark: Infringement, Ten Seconds In?

It was recently reported that the man behind the “not bhed, good syze” fishing video is taking steps to trade mark the catchphrase that made him a viral sensation in Australia.  With the video’s star now capitalising on his new found fame, including starring in an advertisement for a space rental start-up, this has left many wondering whether they will have to refrain from uttering their favourite phrase, or otherwise run the risk of infringing his trade mark… In short, not necessarily.  Setting aside whether or not the phrase is sufficiently distinctive to qualify for registered trade mark protection, the …

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Online marketing and trade marks: To infringe, or not to infringe?

…Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of poor searchability, Or to take arms against a sea of competitors (with SEO and Adwords) As online visibility becomes essential for connecting with consumers, businesses are increasingly investing in measures to improve traffic on their websites. Some of these include acquiring strategic domain names, using search engine optimisation services, and paid search engine advertising. However, in employing these measures, it is important for businesses to ensure that they do not infringe the trade marks of their competitors. Terminology To unpack the jargon: a domain name is an …

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Marketing warfare series – Part III: Guerrilla marketing

What is guerrilla marketing? Guerrilla marketing involves unconventional or interactive campaigns that take consumers by surprise and typically attract social media attention for being so unexpected. These tactics allow businesses to repurpose their consumers’ environment to include their brand and are particularly attractive to small businesses looking for greater reach and impact at a lower cost than traditional marketing. This type of marketing can take many forms, including: publicity stunts (e.g. flash mobs or world record attempts); brand installations (e.g. giant statues of a product in prominent public places); transformation of everyday items into advertisements (e.g. park benches or dressing up …

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Marketing warfare series – Part II: Comparative advertising

A strategy often used by competing brands is comparative advertising. With numerous cases brought in the Federal Court of Australia each year and the potential for considerable pecuniary penalties, businesses should approach this strategy with caution. What is comparative marketing? Comparative advertising is, as its name suggests, an advertisement that compares a product or service with the equivalent offering of a competitor. This is usually done to highlight limitations of the competing offering and demonstrate the promoted offering’s superiority. Businesses may draw comparison with the competing offering: directly – by referring to, or displaying the offering e.g. use of images …

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China Update: “Daigou” marketing and brand protection

As one of the largest retail markets in the world, China has become a highly desirable destination for businesses to advertise and sell their products. Over the past few years, test marketing through “Daigou” (“代购”) has become a popular way for Australian businesses to measure potential demand in the Chinese market and decide whether to commit to full entry. However, this can be highly risky for brand owners that have not developed a Chinese brand and/or secured their IP position in China. Below, we set out a number of risks that brand owners should consider prior to using “Daigou” marketing, and …

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