IT Law

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…]

Circuit layout rights and how to protect them

Circuit layouts are two-dimensional layout designs or plans (topographies) of three-dimensional integrated circuits used in computers and equipment that relies on computers (such as modern cars, televisions, washing machines, and medical devices).  Circuit layouts are sometimes referred to as computer chip or semi-conductor chip designs. [Read more…]

Novation versus assignment in commercial contracts

Novation and assignment of contracts are processes that on first glance appear to have similar outcomes.  However, from a legal perspective, the two are strikingly different, and the wrong choice is capable of having dire legal consequences when things go awry.  Therefore, for those wishing to transfer contractual rights and obligations to third parties, it is critical to understand each legal mechanism’s significant distinctions. [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…]

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…]

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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