What is a certification trade mark?

A certification trade mark (Certification Mark) is a registered intellectual property right that signifies the bearer of the trade mark has met an official standard (such as Australian made).  The standards often associated with a Certification Mark include quality, content, method of manufacture and origin of manufacture.  While a Certification Mark is a form of trade mark that grants the owner a number of exclusive rights in relation to the trade mark, there are fundamental differences between Certification Marks and standard trade marks.  [Read more…]

The importance of using your trade mark

Use it or lose it!  A trade marks can be a valuable item of intellectual property, however it is important that businesses only register trade marks which they intend to use. [Read more…]

Government’s response to Productivity Commission’s report on intellectual property

The Australian Government has released its response to the Productivity Commission’s report into intellectual property arrangements in Australia.  The Productivity Commission (Commission) made numerous recommendations, a number of which were major departures from the current arrangements in Australia.  This article discusses these recommendations, the government’s response, and what amendments to intellectual property laws we may expect to see in the near future. [Read more…]

Restraining a former employee from using your client list

This article discusses the decision of the Federal Court of Australia in Prime Creative Media Pty Ltd v Vranjkovic [2009] FCA 1030 to grant an interlocutory injunction against a former employee (Vranjkovic), restraining her from using confidential client contact information obtained during the course of her employment.  While the parties agreed to settle the matter prior to the final hearing, this interlocutory proceeding provides an example of how a business should act quickly to restrain a former employee from using confidential information following termination of their employment. [Read more…]

Proposed amendments to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)

On 29 March 2017, the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill 2017 (Bill) was introduced to the Senate.  The Bill proposes to amend the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (Act) to allow for new situations where the use of copyright material will not result in an infringement of copyright, and to change the standard terms of copyright duration.  The Bill’s Explanatory Memorandum sets out that these amendments aim to: [Read more…]

Groundless threats of copyright infringement

It is often argued that intellectual property rights create an imbalance of power that is open to abuse by rights holders.  In an effort to counter this, section 202(1) of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (Act) provides remedies for groundless threats of legal proceedings for copyright infringement.  This article will discuss the elements that define a threat as “groundless” and the remedies available when such a threat is made. [Read more…]

Contracting with Minors – is it even possible?

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[1] and Queensland[2] 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.[3]

[Read more…]

What is a trade secret?

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.

[Read more…]

Changes to Trade Mark Application Fees are Now Live

On 3 August 2016, IP Australia announced incoming changes to the fees payable for:

  • trade mark applications; and
  • trade mark registrations.[1]

As announced these changes apply to all trade mark applications filed after 10 October 2016.

[Read more…]

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Tel: 07 3221 0013

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