Mantra Group have been involved in a Federal Court case since September 2009 which involved the company taking action against Stephen Andrew Grant and Tailly Pty Ltd who were allegedly breaching the trade marks owned by Mantra Group for the popular Circle on Cavill building located in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.
Mantra Group own the management rights to Circle on Cavill, which provides them exclusive access to the onsite letting business. While the management rights provides Mantra Group exclusive onsite letting, it does not prohibit an individual owner from renting their apartment on a short, long or permanent basis.
The accommodation business that Tailly were operating relied on individual owners providing their apartment to Tailly to manage for them or Tailly renting the apartment from a real estate agent and subsequently sub-letting the apartment to consumers. Tailly marketed, advertised and sold the private apartments using various names that were derivatives of the Circle on Cavill trade mark owned by Mantra Group.
Mantra Group claimed that the third parties in question, were deliberately infringing on the companies trade marks and set up elaborate networks of web sites specifically built, promoted and advertised to mislead and deceive consumers in an attempt to source bookings for the Tailly accommodation business.
On Friday 26th March, the Federal Court of Australia handed down a landmark judgement which relates to web sites misusing a companies trade marks. The court found that Stephen Andrew Grant and Tailly Pty Ltd had been infringing Mantra Group trade marks by owning domain names, which were identical or deceptively similar to the Circle on Cavill trade marks and by setting up web sites on those domain names to offer a service in the same category that the trade marks where registered in, was a clear violation.
John Swinson of Mallesons Stephen Jaques has provided a detailed synopsis of the ruling and its implications within the hotel and accommodation industry titled Federal Court decision enforces trade marks over internet marketing of strata-titled property.