Keep up-to-date with the latest intellectual property news:

28 Aug 2019

This “Dark Horse” decision is anything but “Joyful Noise” for Katy Perry

In July 2014, Marcus Gray, the rapper better known by his stage name “Flame” filed proceedings against Katy Perry. Gray alleged that Perry’s song Dark Horse infringed copyright in his original work, Joyful Noise. To many, it seemed like just another allegation against a famous artist, based on the vibe of a lesser known song. Five years... Read more
This “Dark Horse” decision is anything but “Joyful Noise” for Katy Perry

19 Jun 2018

Why register copyright when protecting your brand in China?

Copyright registration can provide a simple and relatively low cost means for warding off trademark squatters. As always, early action is required because it is most useful if the registration predates the date of filing of the squatter’s trademark application. If not, other evidence will generally also be required to block the squatter’s trademark application. Requirements... Read more

23 May 2018

Where in the WORLD? Fashion label’s “Made in New Zealand” claims questioned

As has been widely reported, New Zealand fashion label WORLD is in a spot of bother regarding it claims that its garments are FABRIQUE EN NOUVELLE ZELANDE (that is, “Made in New Zealand”). This article discusses the Fair Trading Act in New Zealand, and what this means for WORLD and other traders when promoting a products origin. New... Read more

22 May 2018

The rise of intellectual property (IP) in China

China has once again become a major world economic force to be reckoned with after playing an unprecedented game of economic catch-up since 1978. Its booming ecommerce market and a shift from primary products and manufacturing to more of a consumer economy, presents huge opportunities for Kiwi retailers looking to expand into the region in the future. In recent years the ... Read more

15 Jan 2018

A recipe for disaster: fitspo personality threatened with copyright infringement proceedings

Australian fitness personality, Ashy Bines, could be in hot water following a food blogger's claims a Bines' ebook contains material directly from her blog. We discuss these claims and provide some lessons to take away from this.  An Australian food blogger, Alexandria Dodd, is crowdfunding to raise money to file copyright infringement proceedings against well-known... Read more

11 Jan 2018

Certainly not friends: LEGO Group successful in China

LEGO Group has successfully brought a copyright claim against two Chinese companies for manufacturing and selling products that were almost identical to its LEGO Friends range of building blocks.  LEGO Group has, for the first time, succeeded in bringing a copyright claim in China in relation to its famous LEGO brand. It follows a finding in July 2017 that... Read more

09 Nov 2017

A well ‘crafted’ brand: growth in craft beer industry sees increase in trade mark registrations

As the growth of the craft beer industry continues it is becoming harder to conceive an attractive brand which is distinctive from those of competitors.  Growth in beer trade marks may lead to increased brand disputes and the benefits of legally protecting a brand are becoming more obvious. This article was origianlly published in The Pursuit of Hoppiness Magazine ... Read more

30 Oct 2017

Eight Mile Style v New Zealand National Party: National ‘Loses itself’ to Eminem in copyright case

The High Court has awarded Eight Mile Style, LLC $600,000 in damages for the copyright infringement of the Eminem song Lose Yourself by the New Zealand National Party. This has been one of the more high-profile recent copyright cases in New Zealand and is likely to have a significant impact on relevant parts of the creative industry. Background As part of... Read more

21 Sep 2017

Misuse of confidential information by ex-employees in New Zealand – is this a case for the ERA?

Disputes involving ex-employees and causes of action relating to retention and misuse of confidential information can give rise to disputes over jurisdiction.  Do such disputes fall into the exclusive jurisdiction of the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) or should they be determined by the Courts? The recent decision of the High Court in Ecostore Company Limited v Worth[1] provides useful... Read more

22 Aug 2017

Alleged wine fraud highlights importance of brand protection for New Zealand’s wine industry

In a case that is a first for New Zealand, the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) are prosecuting New Zealand wine company Southern Boundary Wines Ltd with a number of fraud allegations. The case highlights the importance of New Zealand’s intellectual property and consumer laws in protecting the reputation of wine and other goods that are exported from... Read more
Alleged wine fraud highlights importance of brand protection for New Zealand’s wine industry