Morning Briefing: Law firm appoints new IP head in Sydney

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Bird & Bird appoints new IP head in Sydney
Bird & Bird has a new head of its IP practice in Australia. Jane Owen will be based in Sydney and work with IP partner Justin Senescall. They will aim to grow the practice, which currently has a 60-stong team, throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Owen studied at the University of Queensland and University of London and has more than 20 years of intellectual property experience. She joins from K&L Gates along with associates Troy Alexander Gurnett, Shehana Wijesena and Rebecca Currey.
100-year-old law firm goes international
A Chicago law firm with a century of history and a solid reputation for litigation has opened its first international office. Jenner & Block will launch its London office this spring right in the heart of the city. In the US the firm has 450 lawyers and this overseas venture will be a small “toe in the water” to begin with.
Japan is main Asian investor in African project finance
A report by international law firm Linklaters reveals that Japan is Asia’s leading active investor in African project finance schemes. While many would assume that China was the largest contributor to such schemes, Linklater’s managing director in Japan John Maxwell told CNBC Africa that the continent is an attractive investment proposition for Japanese firms: “Many in the market are expecting African countries to remain significant investment destinations for Japanese capital over the next decade.”
IP lawsuit over offensive teddy bear dropped
A lawsuit in the US claiming that the offensive teddy bear character featured in the hit movie Ted was a copyright infringement has been dropped. California firm Bengal Mangle Productions had claimed that the character in Seth MacFarlane’s movie was similar to its own web-based series which featured Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear. The initial complaint cited shared traits such as living in a human world, chain-smoking and a love of prostitutes. The movie Ted took more than US$549 million and the sequel is due this year but there is no indication of any financial settlement in a statement stating that both sides in the case had agreed to dismissal: “The plaintiff has conceded that the Ted character was independently created by Seth MacFarlane using his own efforts and creativity.”