Pacific Dunlop Ltd. v. Hogan

[1989] FCA 185, 23 F.C.R. 553, 87 A.L.R. 14 (1989)

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Pacific Dunlop Ltd. v. Hogan

Federal Court of Australia
[1989] FCA 185, 23 F.C.R. 553, 87 A.L.R. 14 (1989)

Facts

Paul Hogan (plaintiff) co-wrote and performed in the title role of Mick Dundee in the successful film Crocodile Dundee. The film featured a scene in which Dundee and a female companion were walking down the street and Dundee fended off a group of muggers with a knife. Pacific Dunlop Ltd. (Pacific) (defendant) manufactured Grosby “Leatherz” shoes. Pacific launched an advertising campaign for the shoes, using both posters and a television commercial, that mirrored the famous knife scene from the film, with the shoes being the instruments used to fend off the muggers instead of a knife. Although the character in the advertisement was not Hogan himself, he wore clothing similar to what Hogan wore in the film. Hogan brought a claim of passing off against Pacific, arguing that use of the knife scene from the film in Pacific’s advertisement misrepresented a commercial association or endorsement with Hogan as Crocodile Dundee. The lower court agreed and restrained Pacific from further dissemination of the advertisement. Pacific appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Beaumont, J.)

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