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Locutus provides a monthly up-date of cases dealing with trade marks, designs, patents, copyright, passing off, contravention of the consumer protections provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth)and franchising.

If you wish to subscribe to LOCUTUS please contact Carmen Champion on

Archived newsletters below.



LOCUTUS January/February 2011 Issue:

See especially the recent case of Informax International Pty Ltd v Clarius Group Limited [2011] FCA 183 (This case looks at the restraint of trade doctrine and how it applies to labour hire firms) on the following two issues: the labour hire firm submitted that the restraint clauses could be seen as reasonably protecting two quite distinct legitimate interests. The first being its interest in maintaining its customer connexion with Woolworths. The second interest being what it referred to as the interest in avoiding the risk of "opportunistic disintermediation," that is, the middleman's risk of being cut out.

October-November 2010 Issue


LOCUTUS October/November 2010 Issue

April-May 2010 Newsletter


A Return to common sense.

June Seminar


The 23 June seminar is the first in a series of seminars to be held by the members of 4 St James’ Hall Chambers.

Please click 'download' above to view the seminar flyer.  

March 2010 Newsletter


LOCUTUS March 2010 Issue: This Issue reports on a number of interesting trade mark cases dealing with the use of a trade mark as a domain name and the use of a trade mark as a descriptor.  

January/February 2010 Newsletter


LOCUTUS January/February 2010 Issue:The first issue of LOCUTUS for 2010 reports two interesting cases dealing with reputation in get-up in addition to the iinet decision and the Larrikin music decision.

July/August 2009


LOCUTUS July/August 2009 Issue: This month’s LOCUTUS  reports on, inter alia,  the important Guylian decision dealing with the issue of whether that company’s seahorse shape for chocolate could be registered as a trade mark.       

April 2009


LOCUTUS April 2009 Issue: This issue summarizes the High Court’s decision in the Ice litigation and reports a number of other interesting IP decisions.

January 2009 Newsletter


LOCOTUS January 2009 Issue: Of particular interest is the Sebel Furniture case which concerns an allegation that the respondent has infringed the trade mark registration obtained by Sebel for the look of  a sidechair without arms. The first issue the court considered was whether the mark is being used as a trade mark by the respondent in the context of what was said in the Mayne, Remington and All-Fect cases. The Court was not prepared to view the respondent’s use of the look of the chair as a trade mark usee.

September/October 2008 Newsletter


LOCUTUS September/October 2008 Issue

August 2008 Newsletter


LOCUTUS August 2008 Issue: High Court overturns Ketchell!

July 2008 Newsletter


LOCUTUS July 2008 Issue: This months’ issue reports, inter alia,  a copyright case dealing with the matters that determine the appropriate forum, a patent case dealing with the construction of section 125 – 127 of the Patents Act, and a number of practice and procedure cases.

June 2008 Newsletter


LOCUTUS June 2008 Issue: Three trade mark cases are reported this month which spotlight significant deficiency in the pleadings. In one case the defence failed to identify a significant device as forming part of the trade mark used by the respondent. In the second case the cross-claimant failed to plead the rule of law that a grantor must not derogate from his grant which in the judge’s opinion provided the solution to the problem, and, in the third case, it was the judge who identified that the remedy sought by the respondent was really revocation under section 88 of the Trade Marks Act 1995 rather than removal for non-use.

In one of those cases, the reasons for judgment open with the following:

"These trade mark infringement and passing off proceedings have a long and unsatisfactory history. As will be seen in these reasons, from the outset of the litigation the issues have not been framed in a way that accurately identifies the dispute between the parties. This has resulted in excessive costs and consumption of Court and party resources which could have been avoided."


It contains a reminder that in NSW demanding payment legal costs in a letter of demand is conduct frowned upon by Rule 34.4 of the NSW Professional Conduct and Practice Rules. It points out that Rule 34 may also apply to those letters from lawyers acting for opponents in trade mark opposition proceedings who threaten the applicant with indemnity costs orders if they persist with their application.

AND much more!!

May 2008 Newsletter


LOCUTUS May 2008 Issue: Provides a short summary of Ricegrowers Ltd v Real Foods Pty Ltd [2008] FCA 639 (get-up case),  J F Keir Pty Limited v Sparks [2008] FCA 611 (application to strike out action against director under section 75B of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth)) , Chaina & Ors v The Presbyterian Church (NSW) Property Trust & Ors [2008] NSWSC 290 (right of access to confidential information) and Ranbaxy Australia Pty Ltd (ACN 110 781 826) v Warner-Lambert Company LLC [2008] FCAFC 82 (patent infringement). It also reports on a number of decisions of the Australian Trade Marks Office. 

March - April 2008 Newsletter


The March - April 2008 Newsletter

January - February 2008 Newsletter


The January - February 2008 Newsletter

October 2007 Newsletter


The October 2007 Newsletter

August - September 2007 Newsletter


The August - September 2007 Newsletter

July 2007 Newsletter


The July 2007 Newsletter

June 2007 Newsletter


The June 2007 newsletter

May 2007 Newsletter


The May 2007 newsletter

April 2007 Newsletter


The April 2007 newsletter