Archives for October 2016

Contracting with Minors – is it even possible?

In the innovation economy it is becoming more prevalent for individuals aged less than eighteen (18) years (Minors) to seek to build enterprises.  From time to time we are asked to consider whether a client can contract with a Minor.

The law in Australia[1] and Queensland[2] states that a Minor is someone who has yet to reach the age of majority, (being eighteen (18) years).  In Australia, at common law and in statute, the general rule is that a contract with a Minor is void except in limited circumstances.[3]

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What is a trade secret?

In simple terms, a trade secret is any secret commercial information that provides one business with an advantage over another.  For example, trade secrets have been used by Coco-Cola for decades to ensure that its formula remains secret.

Despite the lack of a settled, legal definition of a “trade secret”, their value is recognised at both law, and in equity.  At law, restraints of trade can be legitimately used in order to prevent the disclosure of trade secrets, or to prevent the use of trade secrets by employees in any subsequent business or employment.  Trade secrets are protected in equity by way of an action for breach of confidence even in the absence of contractual agreements restraining their use.

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Changes to Trade Mark Application Fees are Now Live

On 3 August 2016, IP Australia announced incoming changes to the fees payable for:

  • trade mark applications; and
  • trade mark registrations.[1]

As announced these changes apply to all trade mark applications filed after 10 October 2016.

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