A Gold Coast funhouse that promises visitors a "unique and mind-blowing journey" into "futuristic maze-like worlds of wonder" is suing a similar business in New Zealand for alleged breaching its copyright.
Australian-based Dreamtech Designs & Productions operates the "Infinity Attraction" in Surfers Paradise and has taken legal action against two New Zealand companies that run the "Odyssey Sensory Mazes" in Auckland and Queenstown.
The Infinity Attraction, in the words of a High Court judge, is marketed as "maze-like" rooms, which are "multi-sensual environments filled with unique special effects, emotive atmospheric sound fields, sensuous aromas, ultra-groovy music and amazing spectacular illusions".
The Odyssey mazes, similarly, are rooms with "darker challenging spaces, quirky physical objects and challenges, illusions, lighting effects, scents, sound effects and strange sensations".
Dreamtech claims the New Zealand companies - Clownfish Entertainment and CEQT - have infringed its copyright and misrepresented that their attractions are authorised by or connected with Infinity.
While the directors of Clownfish and CEQT admit visiting Infinity and then designing Odyssey in six months after that trip, they deny their mazes breach copyright, creating any misleading link between the businesses or are causing damage to Dreamtech's reputation.
The dispute is due to be heard next May over two or three weeks and ahead of it, Dreamtech applied earlier this year for an interim injunction against Clownfish and CEQT.
It sought the closure of three of Odyssey's sensory rooms, the removal of all floor to ceiling mirrors in another room, and of all mirrors and "infinite hallway" signage.
But Justice Mark Woolford denied Dreamtech the injunction, despite saying there was a serious question to be tried in the case.
The injunction could pose a "significant barrier" to the New Zealand businesses' ongoing trading, he said.
"I consider the greater risk of harm if the proposed orders are made sits with the defendants. Allowing an interim injunction would be highly likely to ruin their business entirely, over a claim which will require an extensive examination and comparison of the businesses by way of a long trial, and in which Dreamtech is suffering no immediate, irreparable harm," Justice Woolford said.
Dreamtech is appealing the decision that refused the injunction and applied last month for its chief executive, Queensland solicitor Deborah Kelly, to take the case.
However, the appellant court said it was concerned Kelly's close association with the company did not sit well with the need for professional objectivity.
It declined leave for her to represent the company on the appeal.