In Australia, the main piece of legislation governing the supply of goods and services is the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA), which incorporates the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) in Schedule 2. These obligations apply in addition to the terms and conditions by which a business trades. The CCA regulates the interaction between businesses and consumers and also between businesses. How the CCA applies to any particular transaction will depend on whether goods or services are supplied to a consumer. The effect of a transaction being classed as a consumer transaction is that the consumer guarantee provisions in the CCA will apply. [Read more…]
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…]
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.
For a start-up or an established business, it is essential that the goodwill of your trading name (Name) and any image (Logo) that you use to distinguish your business from its competitors is afforded the greatest legal protection. The best way to do this is to apply to have the business Name and Logo registered as a trade mark. [Read more…]