Intellectual Property

New auDA domain name licensing rules incoming

A new set of rules by the .au Domain Administration Limited (auDA) governing the use of the .au country code top-level domain (.au ccTLD) will come into effect on 12 April 2021.  The new rules will apply to all domain names in the .au ccTLD registered, transferred, or renewed on or after this date. [Read more…]

What is a registered design?

The registration of designs in Australia are a form of intellectual property protection associated with the visual appearance of an items with commercial or industrial significance.  Rights in designs are obtained by registration under the Designs Act 2003 (Cth) (Act).  Once registered the owner has exclusive rights to use the design, licence its use to others or sell it. [Read more…]

The tort of passing off

The tort of passing off occurs where one trader (Defendant) has wrongly represented that its goods or services are related to those of another (Plaintiff) by imitating the latters get-up, or look and feel of their product or service.[1]  A passing off action is designed to provide a remedy when this situation results in damage to the Plaintiff’s business reputation.  It is usually pleaded as an alternative cause of action to misleading and deceptive conduct pursuant to the Australian Consumer Law, contained inside schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).   [Read more…]

Proposed amendments to use of orphan works

On 13 August 2020, Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, announced amendments to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (Act).  The amendments follow two (2) years of stakeholder consultation, and finalise the Government’s response to the Productivity Commission’s 2016 Intellectual Property Arrangements Report.  The reforms focus on the use of “orphan works”, with an aim to provide a framework for copyright that is fit for the digital age. [Read more…]

Preliminary discovery granted in patent proceedings

The Federal Court of Australia has allowed an application for preliminary discovery of documents related to the components of a ‘sealing composition’ and methods of using it to seal passages.  In the case of Sovereign Hydroseal Pty Ltd v Steynberg [2020] FCA 1084, the Federal Court considered whether preliminary discovery can be used by a patentee to inform its decision-making in relation to whether to commence a proceeding in respect of potential patent infringement. [Read more…]

Indirect patent infringement – lessons from Quaker Chemical

In the recent decision of Quaker Chemical (Australasia) Pty ltd v Fuchs Lubricants (Australasia) Pty Ltd (No 2) [2020] FCA 306 (Quaker Chemical) the Federal Court of Australia decided that a company had indirectly infringed two (2) patents by supplying its customers with a product, because its use by customers would have infringed the methods of the patents. [Read more…]

Aristocrat hits the jackpot in Federal Court ruling

In the recent decision in Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited v Commissioner of Patents [2020] FCA 778 (Aristocrat Case), the Federal Court had to consider whether a claim in four (4) innovation patents directed to an electronic gaming machine (EGM), having a combination of physical parts and computer software for gameplay, was a manner of manufacture.  The Federal Court ultimately found that the delegate of the Commissioner of Patents (Delegate) had erred in deciding that the claims were not a manner of manufacture. [Read more…]

Website blocking orders – what has to be proven?

Section 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) came into effect on 27 June 2015 and was amended on 11 December 2018 by the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act 2018 (no. 157, 2018) (Online Infringement Act).   The amendments were considered in the case of Australasian Performing Right Association Ltd v Telstra Corporation Ltd [2019] FCA 751 (APRA) which was the first case heard after the 2018 amendments where Justice Perram revisited the factors relevant in determining whether to not to make the orders pursuant to the amended section 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (Act). [Read more…]

Top 11 legal tips when selling a technology business

Selling a technology business can be an exciting time for shareholders and directors who have worked hard towards an exit.  Because of this, it’s important for the exit to be as smooth as possible.   Below we set out our top 11 tips for selling a technology business which, if followed, will ensure greater protection for sellers and reduce their risk. [Read more…]

s115A Copyright Act – infringement outside Australia

Section 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) came into effect on 27 June 2015 and was amended on 11 December 2018 pursuant to the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act 2018 (no. 157, 2018) (Online Infringement Act).  The effect of the amendments as described in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill were to amend the threshold test from ‘primary purpose’ to ‘primary effect’, add a rebuttable presumption that an alleged ‘online location’ is located outside Australia, to extend the scope to online search engines (Deindexing Orders) and allow the Court to make “more responsive” orders in terms of injunctive relief. [Read more…]

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