From 1 July 2015, a newly incorporated company, trust or partnership can immediately deduct a range of professional expenses associated with starting a new business, such as professional, legal and accounting advice. This change was introduced by the Tax Laws Amendment (Small Business Measures No. 3) Act 2015 (Cth) which amended the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) (ITAA97) and received Royal Assent on 26 August 2015. [Read more…]
Software licences have been held to be “goods” under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by the Federal Court of Australia in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Valve Corporation (No 3)  FCA 196. The case also clarified the position of “choice of law” clauses and highlighted the difficulties of contracting out of ACL consumer guarantees. [Read more…]
The question of whether software developers are (or ought to be) legally liable for bugs, errors, security vulnerabilities, or other defects in the software which they develop, and the extent to which they are (or ought to be) liable for the loss flowing from those defects, is not a new one and has been the subject of significant legal and academic debate since at least the 1980s. This article considers the liability of software developers in negligence and under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), and also discusses whether insurance is available to offset these risks for the developer. [Read more…]
It’s horrible for any organisation to contemplate the possibility of data loss. Organisations collect and create a variety of data that includes personal, confidential and proprietary information (Intellectual Property). In many instances, loss of this data can be terminal for the organisation. Losses can be economic and reputational and can be thought of coming from two (2) distinct sources, external or internal.
In recent times, high profile data breaches such as the 2015 Ashley Madison scandal, which saw the names of up to 900,000 Australian users published online, have shown the type of detriment that can be caused when personal information is compromised by a data breach. Even icons of the Australian retail sector such as Kmart and David Jones have had customer data lost to hackers in 2015. One year prior, Optus reported three (3) separate data breaches, with the security of the personal information of over 300,000 of its customers being compromised. These are just a few instances which highlight the magnitude of the issue in Australia. [Read more…]
Whilst the financial services sector seems to have embraced the innovation economy, a recent case shows just how important it is for Australian Financial Services Licence, (AFS) holders to take care when advertising their products.
A recent case brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, (ASIC) is a reminder that when advertising investment schemes precise language needs to be used.
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 and Queensland 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.
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.