The doctrine of repudiation – when good deals go bad

Contracting in business can get complicated, particularly if one party appears unwilling or unable to hold up their side of the bargain.   The common law doctrine of repudiation is one basis for terminating a contract and seeking appropriate damages for the other party’s ‘repudiatory’ conduct. [Read more…]

Not so swole – removal of trade marks for non-use

In the recent case of Swole Gym Wear Group Pty Ltd v Swole O’Clock Ltd [2019] FCA 685, Swole Gym Wear Group (Applicant) applied for an extension of time to file a notice of appeal for the removal of their trade mark 1702160, which was registered for the word “SWOLE” in class 14, from the Register of Trade Marks pursuant to s92(4)(a) of the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth)(Act). [Read more…]

Confusing marks – Sensis v Senses

In the recent case of Sensis Pty Ltd v Senses Direct Mail and Fulfillment Pty Ltd [2019] FCA 719 (24 May 2019) (Sensis v Senses) the moral of the story might be that if your brand name is so similar to another company that your customers could confuse or are confusing their name with yours… you might be in trouble.  This was the case in Sensis v Senses where Senses Direct Mail and Fulfillment Pty Ltd (Respondent) was held to have infringed the registered marks of Sensis Pty Ltd (Applicant) owner of well-known directory brands, including the Yellow Pages and White Pages. [Read more…]

Need a reseller agreement?

A reseller agreement (Reseller Agreement) is a contract that entitles one party (Reseller) to sell, market, distribute, or lease a product or service of another (Supplier).  Resellers Agreements are also known as distribution, supply or distributor agreements. Often the Supplier is also the manufacturer of the goods but they may be the importer, a developer of the service or a licensee of software or training programs. [Read more…]

Privacy Awareness Week 2019 – 12-18 May 2019

During  Privacy  Awareness  week  2019 Australian businesses  are  reminded  they  are  entrusted  with  certain  responsibilities  pursuant  to  the  Privacy  Act  1988  (Cth) (Privacy  Act).    In  particular  the  way  they  collect,  store  and  disclose  the  personal  information  of  their  customers. [Read more…]

Security for legal costs in cross-claims for patent invalidity

The usual position in relation to security for costs in disputes before the Federal Court of Australia is that a respondent (including a cross-respondent) may make an application for security for its legal costs to insulate itself if it is successful in defending the allegations made by an applicant against it.  What is the situation regarding security for costs where a respondent ‘cross-claims’ for revocation of a patent because it alleges that it is invalid and should never have been granted in the first place? [Read more…]

Use of a competitor’s confidential information

Many businesses try to increase market share by employing a competitor’s member of staff who may bring with them relationships and information acquired over the years.  Employees owe fiduciary duties to their employers meaning, among other things, that an employee cannot make a personal gain by using confidential information acquired in the course of their employment.  If an employee makes a personal gain by using their employer’s confidential information, the employer may be entitled to an account of profits, meaning the employee must pay the employer the amount of profit made as a result of the breach. [Read more…]

Is your patent being infringed?

A patent grants the owner (Patentee) exclusive rights to exploit the patented invention (as defined in the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Patents Act)) within Australia.  If another party uses the patent without the authorisation of the Patentee, they will infringe.  In this article we consider the high level issues to consider when attempting to determine whether a patent has been infringed. [Read more…]

Copyright protection time limits change

On the 22 of June 2017, the Australian Government passed the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Act 2017 (Act), which introduced major changes to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) that aim to simplify how long materials can be protected by copyright laws.  From 1 January 2019, changes to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) will apply to all literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works (Works), sound recordings and films that are not made public before 1 January 2019, or that are created or made public on or after 1 January 2019.  [Read more…]

Patent revocation for lack of novelty

One of the often cited requirements for a patent to be granted, is that the invention as claimed must be ‘novel’ in light of the information of the day (referred to as the prior art and the common general knowledge) (section 18(1)(b)(i) of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth)(Patents Act)).  Put simply, if its been done before, chances are that it may lack novelty.   Therefore, if a patent, when viewed against the prior art and common general knowledge does not disclose an invention that is novel, it cannot be said to contain the required feature of novelty. [Read more…]

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