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…]

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…]

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…]

Patents and the thresholds for registration

A patent provides exclusive rights during its term to exploit the patented invention.  In Australia the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Patents Act) protects intellectual effort by granting exclusive rights, during the term of the patent, to exploit an invention and to authorise other persons to exploit it.  The owner is entitled to defend the patent against infringement from third parties in the patent area – which in the case of Australia is the Commonwealth of Australia – during the term of the patent. [Read more…]

Introduction to patent revocation

In legal proceedings involving the alleged infringement of a patent, it’s common for the respondent to go on the offensive and attempt to convince the Court that the said patent is invalid.  If proven, it necessarily follows there can be no infringement.  There is no one section of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Patents Act) that specifically deals with invalidity.  In effect invalidity is established by proving that the requirements of validity set out in section 18 of the Patents Act are not made out on the patent in question, or that there are other grounds (such as sections 40 and 138) which the patent does not comply with. [Read more…]

Interlocutory injunctions in patent disputes

An injunction is a Court order directing a person or entity to do a specific thing or refrain from doing something.  Whilst an injunction in itself can amount to final relief in litigious matters, it can also be sought on an interlocutory or temporary basis (Interlocutory Injunction).  This applies where a temporary remedy is sought to maintain the status quo until the larger legal issues can be heard at trial.

In matters relating to the infringement of a patent, an injunction may be sought by the patent owner (Applicant) to stop a defendant (Respondent) from doing the acts the patent owner alleges infringe the patent, until the Court has had the opportunity to determine whether or not the patent has been infringed.  In this article we consider Interlocutory Injunctions in patent matters and how the tests differ from non-patent matters. [Read more…]

Artificial intelligence – introductory thoughts on the legal issues

Whenever there is a wave of innovation, in the absence of statute, the Courts necessarily apply old world legal principles to the new technology.  This was certainly the case when social media and online business became mainstream.  Similarly the law in Australia that applies to bitcoin and the blockchain has left the promoters of initial coin offerings (ICO’s) struggling to understand their legal position – see our article titled:  “What is an initial coin offering”.  The advent of artificial intelligence (Artificial Intelligence or AI) however creates somewhat more challenging legal issues to be considered by technology lawyers whose client’s seek to develop applications with embedded AI. [Read more…]

Disputing ownership of a patent – joint inventors

The Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Act) provides the framework for patent registration and regulation in Australia. [Read more…]

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