The Paris Convention has nothing to do with wine, cheese or even prisoners of war.  It's about protecting intellectual property in foreign countries.For Australians, the Paris Convention means that it is possible to apply for registration of your trade mark overseas after the first application (usually...

 Australians are becoming increasingly sophisticated about intellectual property.  It's great to see traders registering their business names (because the government says they have to) and registering those business names as trade marks (because that's the only way they have proprietary rights to the business name).The...

Assuming that you've thought of something that's new and inventive, do you have actually have an "invention" or is it rather the case that you merely have "a new idea"?Although an invention may be very broadly claimed in a patent, it remains the case that patents...

Obtaining trade mark protection in some of Australia’s closest neighbours can be less than straight forward.It's a strange fact that the only way to protect your trade mark in many Pacific island nations is to register your trade mark somewhere else.  The table at the bottom of this post sets out options for a number of Pacific Island Nations.For example, it's not possible to register your trade mark in the Soloman Islands if you first have not registered your trade mark in the United Kingdom. Similarly, Fiji trade mark law makes provision for “re-registration” of a registered United Kingdom trade mark.
Today's post is by Angeline Behan ([email protected])  who, I'm very pleased to announce, has recently joined us here at Michael Buck IP and who is a specialist trade mark practitioner.  Angie recently helped a client deal with a person who was systematically copying the client's product.Imagine the shock you’d experience if you discovered that every aspect of you product’s packaging – the artwork, the product name, your name, the bar code and the place of manufacture – was being copied without your knowledge.Imagine the distress you’d further experience when you discover that many of your existing clients were purchasing the counterfeit product thinking you were the manufacturer.After you’d recovered from the initial shock, you’d want the manufacture and sale of the counterfeit product – a product which was cheaper and of poorer quality than yours – to stop.  But how?
Although there are a few exceptions, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) generally requires that a trade mark applicant provides evidence that the mark has actually been used in the USA before the certificate of registration can actually issue.  Another country that has a similar requirement is Canada.  In addition to providing evidence of use before registration, some countries also require that evidence of use be provided at some stage after registration, usually before the registration can be renewed.You'll be interested to learn that in Australia there's no requirement that an applicant must show evidence of actual use, either before registration or renewal of an Australian trade  mark.Although there's no requirement to show evidence of use there is a mechanism for third parties to apply for removal of a trade mark registration if they believe that the owner of the trade mark, or its authorized user, hasn't been using the trade mark.  The baseline requirements for a non-use removal application are that the registration in question must have been in force for at least five years and that it hasn't been used as a trademark in the preceding three years.
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