Ex-employees and IP protection

The importance of protecting your intellectual property cannot be overstated.  Various threats are posed to the confidentiality and exclusive use a company enjoys with their intellectual property.  One (1) such threat is when an employee, informed of the company’s intellectual property, ceases to be an employee of the company.  How can you protect your company’s intellectual property from this ex-employee? [Read more…]

Social Media (Anti-Trolling) Bill 2021 released

The Australian Government has released the Social Media (Anti-Trolling) Bill 2021 (Bill) in an effort to protect Australians who maintain social media pages (Page Owners).  The need for such legislation is obvious in light of the High Court’s decision in the case of Fairfax Media Publications v Voller [2021] HCA 27 (Fairfax) which determined that Page Owners may be exposed to defamation liability as a result of defamatory comments left on the page by third parties.  Such liability would arise even where the owner was unaware of the defamatory comment upon their page. [Read more…]

Novak Djokovic v Minister for Home Affairs – the facts?

Headlines have been made around the world following the decision on 6 January 2022 by a delegate of the Australian Minister for Home Affairs (Delegate) to cancel tennis player Novak Djokovic’s (Djokovic) Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa (Visa).  On 6 January 2022 lawyers for Djokovic applied to the Federal Circuit and Family Court seeking orders that the decision of the delegate be overturned.

The dispute involved issues of procedural fairness, particularly concerning the timeframes and the circumstances surrounding the visa cancellation.  On 10 January 2022 orders were made by Kelly J declaring the decision of the Delegate cancel Djokovic’s visa be quashed and to organise his immediate release from immigration detention.  This article discusses the background to this case, findings and what really happened. [Read more…]

7-Eleven customer survey: do privacy policy terms equal consent?

In 2020 the 7-Eleven Stores Pty Ltd ACN 005 299 427 (7-Eleven) chain launched a customer feedback mechanism nationwide which prompted customers to complete a voluntary survey about their experience in store on a tablet device.  When a customer completed the survey, a digital image was taken of the customer which was shared with two (2) Application Programming Interfaces (API) to assess and record certain information about the customer.

On 29 September 2021 the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) recently declared that 7-Eleven breached Australian Privacy Principles with these actions.[1]

[Read more…]

Use of confidential information – the springboard injunction

The “springboard doctrine” is entwined with the concepts of misuse of trade secrets and confidential information and reflects one party’s misuse of another’s confidential information to produce a service or product in a timeframe or manner that would otherwise not have been achievable.  In the recent UK decision in Forse & Ors v Secarma Ltd & Ors [2019] EWCA Civ 215, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales upheld the High Court’s decision to grant an interim springboard injunction and held that injunctive relief in springboard cases “must be no greater in scope or duration than is reasonable to remove a defendant’s unfair competitive advantage”.  This article discusses the legal concept of a springboard injunction as well as the finding in the Forse case and the Australian position. [Read more…]

What is tracing in civil litigation?

Tracing is a mechanism by which civil litigants which may be able to show how certain property has ‘travelled’ over time.  This means, that it can be shown by a claimant that certain property, such as money, has moved from one point to another.  This can be useful as money or other property the subject of a cause of action can be ‘traced’ to an original place in time to combat any efforts undertaken to hide it or escape culpability by an original wrongdoer.  An example of this principle arose in the case of Toksoz v Westpac Banking Corporation [2012] NSWCA 199 (3 July 2012) (Toksoz). [Read more…]

Is it a debt – legal test and creditors’ statutory demands

A creditor may make a statutory demand for payment in an attempt to recover monies owed by a particular entity.  Some consternation may arise where there exists a genuine dispute about the existence or amount of a debt allegedly relating to a statutory creditor’s demand. [Read more…]

Is social media chat log a document in Federal Court?

As a general rule, a party to a proceeding in the Federal Court cannot prove the existence of a fact by producing evidence of a statement which they made out of the Court.  This is known as the hearsay rule and is found at section 59 of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) (Act).   One (1) of the exceptions to the hearsay rule is in relation to electronic communications.  This allows a person to rely on the communication to prove it was sent to or from one (1) person at a particular time.  To prove a fact of the statement itself is a bit more complicated. [Read more…]

Just and equitable grounds – but what about that helicopter?

In Warner v Global Pacific Aerospace Pty Limited [2012] VSC 291 the Victorian Supreme Court held that it would be just and equitable to wind up the company following a breakdown in the relationship between the two (2) directors who were equal shareholders.  This article considers this case and the conduct was that was held to be oppressive. [Read more…]

Trade mark infringement – the good faith defence

To build a brand, its vital for businesses to be aware of their rights with respect to using the intellectual property of others to avoid inadvertently infringing on someone else’s rights.  Where a person honestly and accidentally infringes another’s trade mark (Infringer) a defence that may be available is that the the mark in question was being used  in good faith.  The circumstances in which this defence is available is set out in  section 122 of the Act and is the subject of this article. [Read more…]

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