MANTRA GROUP WINS FEDERAL COURT CASE
Written on the 7 April 2010
ACCOMMODATION provider Mantra Group has won a Federal Court case against a company that misused its Circle on Cavill trademark in Surfers Paradise, setting a landmark IP precedent for online booking agencies.
Mantra distribution general manager Luke Jamieson, says the verdict against Stephen Grant and Tailly Pty Ltd has ramifications for the entire accommodation and holiday industry.
“Tailly had Google advertisements that misused Mantra trademarks, so that when consumers searched for Circle on Cavill (pictured), Tailly’s advertisements were displayed,” he says.
“Tailly has been forced to transfer 10 domain names to Mantra and has to modify the content on more than 10 of his websites to comply with the injunction – the judgment shows that Tailly went to a lot of effort to design elaborate websites designed to deceive customers.
“This judgment is important for our industry because it shows that the court will enforce trademark law to protect that goodwill of companies and individuals who have purchased management and letting rights.”
He says the legal action highlights a need for developers to prioritise intellectual property protection.
“It is a misconception that trademark infringement is a victimless crime.”
Justice Reeves of the Federal Court of Australia granted permanent injunctions on Grant and Tailly from using the trademarks or similar terms, also ordering all profits from infringing bookings be transferred to Mantra.
Reeves rejected Tailly’s defence that it was entitled to infringe the trademarks because they correspond to the name of the building where it sub-let apartments.
Mantra Group manages 140 hotels in Australia and New Zealand including the Peppers and BreakFree brands.