Unfair contract terms, small businesses and changes to the Australian Consumer Law

Given the often limited resources available to small businesses, it can be difficult to keep informed about the myriad of legal obligations with which they must comply.  Under section 23 of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), businesses must ensure that they comply with the obligation not to impose “unfair contractual terms” on consumers. [Read more…]

Federal Circuit Court invalidates ‘no refunds’ clause

In a recent judgment (Ferme v Kimberley Discovery Cruises Pty Ltd [2015] FCCA 2384), the Federal Circuit Court held that a term of a cruise company’s standard conditions, which allowed the company to cancel a cruise for a wide range of reasons without giving any refunds to its passengers, was an ‘unfair term’ under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and therefore void. [Read more…]

Implied terms in software development contracts – the submarine in the code

The case of Peter Peter Pan’s Backpacker Adventure Travel Pty Ltd and Anor v Eye Jam Interactive[1](Pan), whilst not new, presents an interesting yet not unusual fact matrix which commonly occurs in relation to software development. There was a number of issues for the Court to resolve, primarily in regard to the ownership of the copyright in the code in the absence of a signed contract (IP Issue), and whether a term could be implied into an hourly rate contract (Implied Term) that had the effect of limiting the Respondents hourly rate claim where it was alleged that they had spent more time providing the services than was absolutely necessary.
[Read more…]

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