Oraka v Geostel

2020-07-06T05:40:38+00:00

Counsel for two of the defendants, Geostel and its director Paul Daynes, since June 2016. The case relates to industrial copyright in the design of a component called a cup used in asparagus-grading machines. I was instructed just after the High Court had awarded damages of $4.1m against my clients and another party, Napier Tool & Die, in 2016 – the largest award of damages for copyright infringement in New Zealand history.

That award was overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2016: reported at [2017] 2 NZLR 611.  The High Court was directed to assess damages on a “user principle” (or notional licence fee) basis rather than lost profits.  Geostel was awarded costs on Oraka’s abandoned application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court: [2017] NZSC 79. There was a further six day trial in the High Court in 2017 including extensive expert evidence.  The High Court set damages at $510,000, plus interest going back to 2005 which effectively doubled the amount due: reported at (2018) 131 IPR 363. This was reduced on appeal to $47,000: [2020] NZCA 256.

Brands Limited v Bed Bath ‘N’ Table Pty Limited

2020-09-03T01:53:15+00:00

Counsel for New Zealand manchester and homewares retailer Bed Bath & Beyond in a claim for trade mark infringement, trade mark invalidity, passing off and breach of the Fair Trading Act by its competitor, Bed Bath N’ Table. The case is in the Wellington High Court and is likely to go to trial in 2021/22.

Dr August Wolff v Combe International

2020-09-03T01:56:02+00:00

Counsel for the opponent owner of the VAGISIL mark on a successful trade mark opposition hearing before the Intellectual Property Office relating to the trade mark VAGISAN. I also acted on the appeal in the High Court, which upheld IPONZ’s rejection of the mark.  (Currently on appeal to the Court of Appeal.)

Savernake Holdings v Waiwera LLC

2020-09-03T01:59:51+00:00

Counsel for Savernake Holdings in relation to complex trade mark proceedings involving seven separate but inter-related applications and oppositions at IPONZ regarding trade marks which include the word “WAIWERA”.  Savernake succeeded on all of its applications and oppositions, including a declaration of invalidity based on bad faith.