IT Law

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…]

Unjustified threats of trademark infringement

Where a party threatens another with legal proceedings for trademark infringement the recipient of the threats may have grounds to commence proceedings for making unjust threats.  In other words where the threats are unjustified the recipient may apply to the Court for relief from the unjust threats. [Read more…]

Can artificial intelligence be the inventor of a patent?

The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has raised some interesting legal issues.   One such issue is whether the AI itself can be the ‘inventor’ of a patented invention in Australia.   The recent decision of the Commissioner of Patents of Stephen L. Thaler [2021] APO 5 (Thaler) explores what it means to be an inventor.   This was done to determine whether a “Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience” (DABUS) – an artificial intelligence machine developed from what is known as “Creativity Machine” technology can be named as an inventor for the purpose of an Australian patent application. [Read more…]

Explaining the Media Bargaining Code

On 18 February 2021, social media company Facebook made the decision to prohibit the publishing and sharing of links (Links) from Australian media companies (News Companies) on the site.  This ban came into effect almost immediately after the Treasury Laws Amendment (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code) Bill 2021 (Cth) (Media Bargaining Code) passed the House of Representatives.  The ban has roadblocked News Companies from 9 News to the Bureau of Meteorology and even the beloved satirical news provider, The Betoota Advocate.  This article analyses the proposals of the Media Bargaining Code and what the legal effect of non-compliance may be. [Read more…]

Kogan fined $310k after breaching Spam Act

On 10 December 2020, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) issued an infringement notice (Infringement Notice) to Kogan Australia Pty Ltd ACN 152 570 351 (Kogan) (a subsidiary of ASX listed Kogan.com Ltd ACN 612 447 293) stating that the electronics and appliances brand had contravened section 18(1) of the Spam Act 2003 (Cth) (Spam Act).  [Read more…]

Software patent allowed for tracking user action

In the recent case of Facebook, Inc. [2020] APO 19 (Facebook Inc.), the Patent’s office considered whether software that tracks the installation of applications on mobile devices following interactions with advertisements qualifies as a manner of manufacture and is therefore patentable subject matter. [Read more…]

Marketplace terms and conditions – legal issues

A marketplace platform is great for doing online business and connecting service providers and customers. Notable marketplaces are Airtasker, eBay and Amazon, however marketplaces can be used by businesses looking to facilitate human connections between people, such as LinkedIn.

Whatever the purpose of the marketplace, platform operators need to have a set of terms and conditions in place which ringfence the platform operator from certain liabilities and seek to ensure that most issues between users are matters between them, and not the platform operator.  Below we outline some of the essential terms that a marketplace terms and conditions should consider. [Read more…]

Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth)

In Australia the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth) (Act) sets the rules for companies that offer or advertise gambling services.  It applies to all online gambling, whether through a website, app or social media platform.  Under the Act, the provision of internet gambling services in Australia is generally prohibited, subject to some exceptions.  The Act empowers the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to investigate complaints, write investigation reports and undertake enforcement and compliance monitoring activities. [Read more…]

Standard form IT procurement contracts – legal issues

Standard form IT procurement agreements are commonly used by businesses which have an established procurement department to standardise the commercial and legal procurement process.  Below we address key terms in standard form IT procurement agreements which suppliers should look out for when presented with one. [Read more…]

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