ASIC Statement on Initial Coin Offering

On 28 September 2017, ASIC released an Information Sheet to aid companies in establishing and meeting their legal obligations when undertaking an initial coin offering (ICO).  Whilst acknowledging that ICOs have the potential to beneficially widen the options available to both businesses and investors, ASIC Commissioner John Price also warned that “ICOs are highly speculative investments, are mostly unregulated and the chance of losing your investment is high”. [Read more…]

Value shifting in commercial transactions

It seems that everywhere you turn when structuring commercial transactions or when raising capital in Australia, tax issues need to be considered.  “Value shifting” is one such issue. [Read more…]

Can a third party be made to account for a breach of director’s duties?

It is an unfortunate reality that some directors of companies of all sizes engage in conduct that breaches their legal responsibilities.  In circumstances where a Court finds that the conduct of the director breached the standard of care that they owed, the Court has the power to award damages.  What happens, however, where a third party has received a benefit (knowingly or unknowingly) as a result of the director’s breach – can that third party be held accountable? [Read more…]

What is a certification trade mark?

A certification trade mark (Certification Mark) is a registered intellectual property right that signifies the bearer of the trade mark has met an official standard (such as Australian made).  The standards often associated with a Certification Mark include quality, content, method of manufacture and origin of manufacture.  While a Certification Mark is a form of trade mark that grants the owner a number of exclusive rights in relation to the trade mark, there are fundamental differences between Certification Marks and standard trade marks.  [Read more…]

What is your duty of disclosure?

In a litigious matter, once all the parties in the proceedings have filed their pleadings (documents such as a Statement of Claim, Defence and Reply), pleadings are said to have ‘closed’.  Once pleadings have closed, parties to legal proceedings in State based courts are usually obliged to provide disclosure.  Note that this article does not discuss the disclosure obligations in the Federal Court where the obligations regarding disclosure are different.  To many, this process may seem daunting and confusing, so in this article we consider the key elements of disclosure in Queensland under the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) (UCPR). [Read more…]

The importance of using your trade mark

Use it or lose it!  A trade marks can be a valuable item of intellectual property, however it is important that businesses only register trade marks which they intend to use. [Read more…]

Do you need to disclose a computer database?

In a litigious matter in the Queensland Courts, once all the parties in the proceedings have filed their pleadings (documents such as a Statement of Claim, Defence and Reply), pleadings are said to have ‘closed’.  Once pleadings have closed, parties are then under an obligation to provide disclosure.  A critical element of providing disclosure is determining what documents each party has a duty to disclose.  In this article, we consider whether or not a computer database is capable of being disclosed. [Read more…]

What is an Initial Coin Offering?

With the rise of cryptocurrencies (think Bitcoin and Ethereum), start-up businesses have engaged in a new method of sourcing funding from would-be investors – Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).  ICOs are becoming an increasingly popular method for new businesses to raise money in a short period of time with minimal effort.  As ICOs are a new concept utilising new technologies, they are yet to be regulated in Australia.  However, with the rise in popularity of ICOs in Australia, and around the world, whether or not ICOs will be regulated is a question many expected to be answered shortly. [Read more…]

Software as a service (SaaS) contracts – legal considerations

In a world increasingly reliant on technology it is important that the promoters of new business models understand some of the legal issues that their new business models present.  In recent years, the development and reliance on software has spawned a new category of business model – software as a service (SaaS).  The SaaS contract usually differs from a software licence because the end user is not making a copy of the software but is obtaining a right to access it as a service.  This article discusses some of the legal issues that need to be considered by those commercialising a SaaS business model. [Read more…]

Government’s response to Productivity Commission’s report on intellectual property

The Australian Government has released its response to the Productivity Commission’s report into intellectual property arrangements in Australia.  The Productivity Commission (Commission) made numerous recommendations, a number of which were major departures from the current arrangements in Australia.  This article discusses these recommendations, the government’s response, and what amendments to intellectual property laws we may expect to see in the near future. [Read more…]

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