|Trade Mark Litigation|
Trade mark litigation in Australia is a complicated area of the law; overlapping passing off and the misleading and deceptive conduct provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act. We frequently appear as counsel, sometimes instructed by other law firms, in trade mark disputes because of Wrays industry-recognised expertise in the area.
Trade mark litigation in Australia ordinarily takes place in the Federal Court. The Federal Court Rules and practice notes include specific provisions for:
Wrays senior personnel are admitted in the Federal Court of Australia as barristers (specialist advocates) and frequently appear before Federal Court judges on interlocutory appearances and, when necessary, at trial.
David Stewart, one of our partners, was counsel in the leading case of Paramount Pictures v Hasluck (2006) 70 IPR 293, acting for a number of North American motion picture industry participants. This case determined whether exemplary damages were available for trade mark infringement in Australia.
Fast Track Proceedings
The Federal Court provides an alternative procedure for intellectual property disputes. The Fast Track List is designed to cater for, amongst other types of litigation, disputes involving “intellectual property rights (other than patents)”. The Fast Track regime is ideal for disputes which are less than 5 days in length at trial, and where the issues in dispute are relatively straightforward. Typically a Fast Track List dispute will be set down for trial and judgment delivered within 6 to 8 months.
Wrays were one of the first firms in Australia to use the Fast Track List in 2009 when the process was first introduced, for a dispute between two companies over the use of a domain name protected by a trade mark.
The Federal Court actively encourages parties to mediate in an effort to resolve their disputes. Having acted for a number of local and international clients in trade mark dispute mediations before mediation registrars of the Federal Court, with uniformly good results.
Trade Mark Registry Hearings
Trade mark registry hearings are part of our core business. There are two types: