Intellectual Property

The test for infringement of circuit layout rights

Circuit layout rights automatically protect original layout designs for integrated circuits and computer chips under the Circuit Layouts Act 1989 (Cth) (Act).  While this right is a derivative of copyright law principles, they are a separate and unique form of protection.  This article aims to examine the test for infringement of circuit layout rights, which involves four distinct elements such as eligible layout, copying, without authorisation and substantial part.   [Read more…]

Can an AI be an inventor under the Patents Act 1990 (Cth)

In the recent decision of Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCA 879, Beach J rejected the Deputy Commissioner of Patents’ (DCP) determination that, due to the inventor being named as an artificial intelligence system (AI) rather than a human, a patent application did not comply with the Patents Regulations 1991 (Cth) (Regulations). [Read more…]

Interlocutory injunctions and undertakings as to damages

An interlocutory injunction is an order made by the Court prior to trial either preventing or requiring some undertaking to be taken by one or more parties.  The Courts acknowledge that the imposition of such an interlocutory injunction on a party is not necessarily final and is subject to change.  As such, an undertaking as to damages is usually required by the party seeking an interlocutory injunction (Applicant).  This article discusses the established principles the Court will use to discern whether an Applicant has an adequate case for granting an interlocutory injunction. [Read more…]

Software royalties and income tax

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) recently released a draft Taxation Ruling (TR) 2021/D4 (Draft Ruling) which considers whether certain software related royalties may be taxable.  In short, the Draft Ruling provides a much needed, and quite broad, scope for when consideration of computer software will be a royalty for income tax purposes.  This article discusses this broadened scope. [Read more…]

Non-fungible tokens – the new way to own IP?

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been making headlines recently for being sold at auction for enormous sums of money.  Business school drop-out turned American DJ, 3LAU, apparently sold his NFT collection just over a month ago for $11.6 million USD ($15 million AUD).[1]  Grimes, otherwise known as Claire Boucher, a prominent musician and partner to Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, sold multiple digital artworks amounting to a total of $6 million USD ($7.79 million AUD).[2]

So what are NFTs and how can they help you protect your intellectual property (IP)? [Read more…]

Deal fatigue in commercial contracts

Deal fatigue is surprisingly very common in commercial transactions in Australia because of the complexity of the law and the sheer volume of documentation that’s often required.  An unfortunate consequence can be that benefit of entering into the deal in the first place can be watered down to the extent that the deal becomes unpalatable.   This article will discuss the symptoms of deal fatigue and offer some tips on avoiding it.  This video offers a definition of precisely what deal fatigue is, how to recognise it and how you can try to avoid it.

What is the proposed ‘patent box’ tax incentive?

The Federal Government has announced in its 2021-2022 budget the ‘patent box tax regime’ (Regime).  The Regime is in effect a $206 million boost to Australian biotech and medtech innovators (Research Areas) via the implementation of a concessional corporate tax rate. [Read more…]

Accessory liability for copyright infringement

An accessory is a person or corporation involved in another’s wrong or unlawful act.  The tort of accessory liability is an important area of law allowing claims to be brought against “accessories” who participate in wrongdoings.  This is desirable in circumstances where, for example, the primary wrongdoer is insolvent, lacks capacity, or for some other reason cannot be pursued through regular legal channels.  In such circumstances, it may be just or equitable for a claimant to pursue a third party, the accessory, if they were sufficiently involved in any wrongdoing.  Even in circumstances where the primary wrongdoer can be pursued, accessory liability provides a mechanism for enhancing the protection afforded to holders of legal rights against interference by accessories. [Read more…]

Palmer breaches copyright – liable for $1.5m AUD in damages

On 30 April 2021 Katzmann J delivered the Federal Court’s judgment in the matter of Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd v Palmer (No 2) [2021] FCA 434 (UMB).  The case of UMB concerns the infringement of musical and literary works (Works) of Daniel “Dee” Snider (Dee) by Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party’s (UAP/Respondent) multi-media advertising campaign.  UMB considered a complex and detailed fact matrix.   Simply put, the Respondent made use of a short jingle with the lyrics ‘Aussies Not Gonna Cop It’ to the tune of Dee’s ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’, alongside other similarly reproduced advertisements (Impugned Works), to promote the Respondent’s political objectives. [Read more…]

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