Fearless Ladies! – IPwars.com

Seashore J has dominated that Maurice Blackburn didn’t breach any of State Avenue International’s rights within the Fearless Lady statue by arranging for a reproduction to be displayed on the launch of a marketing campaign to handle the gender pay hole.

Image of Fearless Girl bronze sculpture in alley with tour group in background
Picture by maggavel from Pixabay

In 2016, State Avenue had commissioned Kristen Visbal to create a life-size bronze statue which turned often known as “Fearless Lady” in reference to a marketing campaign to advertise State Avenue’s Gender Range Index alternate traded fund, often known as the “SHE fund”.

The finished statue was put in and unveiled in Bowling Inexperienced Park on Wall Avenue, famously showing to confront the Charging Bull statue.[1] This had been a wildly profitable marketing campaign with, amongst different issues, over 4.6 billion Twitter impressions (?) and a “mere” 745 million Instagram impressions (?) within the first 12 weeks!

In 2019, Maurice Blackburn and numerous company and tremendous fund backers negotiated an settlement with Ms Visbal for a payment of USD250,000 allowing them to show a Fearless Lady reproduction in Federation Sq. Melbourne[2] in reference to a marketing campaign for Equal Pay Day.

After Maurice Blackburn despatched out invites to the disclosing of the Fearless Lady reproduction in Federation Sq., State Avenue sued Maurice Blackburn and a few of its co-funders for just about every little thing they might consider:

  • interference with contractual relations;
  • false, deceptive or misleading conduct in commerce and commerce Opposite to the Australian Client Regulation and passing off;
  • commerce mark infringement; and
  • copyright infringement.

All of the claims failed.

Seashore J’s causes for judgment run for some 1191 paragraphs over 274 pages. So, extra thought of evaluation must wait a later day (or days).

The central difficulty appears to have been the very particular nature of State Avenue’s rights to regulate additional reproductions of the work and the cautious method Maurice Blackburn had used Fearless Lady.

The phrases State Avenue and the artist had negotiated included a clause granting State Avenue the unique rights:

to show and distribute two-dimensional copies, and three-dimensional Artist-sanctioned copies, of the Paintings to advertise (i) gender range points in company governance and within the monetary companies sector, and (ii) SSGA and the services it affords. …. (emphasis equipped)

and Ms Visbal additionally agreed that no different celebration may very well be licensed to make use of “the Paintings” as a brand or model ….

Seashore J held that the best way Maurice Blackburn had used Fearless Lady in reference to the Equal Pay Day marketing campaign didn’t fall inside the scope of State Avenue’s unique rights. It additionally was not use as a brand or model. Michaela Whitbourn has a pleasant abstract.

Nevertheless, it seems like there’ll must be an additional listening to to find out whether or not, and if that’s the case, how Maurice Blackburn might use and show its Fearless Lady reproduction sooner or later.

State Avenue International Advisors Belief Firm v Maurice Blackburn Pty Ltd (No 2) [2021] FCA 137


  1. These of you on the market with lengthy(-ish) recollections, would possibly recall that that juxtaposition brought on its personal ‘ethical rights’ controversy. Fearless Lady was later moved in April 2018 to its present place in entrance of the New York Inventory Alternate. ?
  2. Fed Sq., in fact, will not be with out its personal controversies! ?
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