What is an end user licence agreement?

An end user licence agreement (EULA) is a contract between two or more parties based on the proprietary rights of a licensor to grant a right to the licensee/s to use or access a product or service.  The proprietary right may be based on a variety of intellectual property (IP) rights, including copyright, trade marks, patents, designs and trade secrets.  EULAs are common in the software and web development industries, where copyright subsists in the written code of a program or website as a literary work in under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). [Read more…]

Infringement of copyright in computer code

Computer code, like other literary works are automatically protected by copyright.  Subject to exceptions, only the copyright owner has the exclusive right to reproduce a literary work in which copyright subsists, pursuant to section 31 of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (Act).   Generally the reproduction of another programmer’s code without their consent amounts to an infringement of copyright – section 36 of the Act.
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Introduction to intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP), in the Australian legal context, is much more than copyright and trade marks, it includes confidential information, registered designs, trade secrets, patents and plant breeder’s rights.  The protection of intellectual endeavours has been something which the law has recognised for centuries and something which the innovation agenda has embraced.  IP is becoming increasingly important as organisations strive for competitive advantage in the innovation age (click here or insert).  IP rights arise at both common law and statute and aim to protect a broad category of rights over the fruits of intellectual efforts. These rights fall into two (2) distinct categories, those that are registerable and those that are not.

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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…]

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…]

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…]

Dallas Buyers Club gets preliminary discovery

The Federal Court of Australia in Dallas Buyers Club LLC v iiNet Limited [2015] FCA 317 recently granted an application for preliminary discovery made by companies associated with the film “Dallas Buyers Club”. The applicants were seeking the identity of a number of Australian Internet users who allegedly infringed copyright in the film by downloading and making it available for download on the Internet via the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing protocol. [Read more…]

Plant breeder’s rights – an introduction

In Australia, the statutory scheme for the registration and protection of the rights of plant breeders is contained in the Plant Breeders Rights Act 1994 (Cth) (PBRA).  The PBRA was introduced because Australia was a signatory to the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, in Geneva in 1978.  The constitutional validity of the PBRA was considered in the case of Grain Pool of WA v The Commonwealth [2000] HCA 14 (Grain Pool). [Read more…]

Sales of counterfeit poles breach IP rights

The Australian sellers of dancing poles Vertical Leisure Ltd and Dance4Me Pty Ltd (Vertical Leisure) have been awarded AU$394,800 in damages, after a competitor Skyrunner Pty Ltd (Skyrunner) sold of inferior copies of dancing poles using promotional materials of the brand “X-Pole”.

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Trade mark infringement – an introduction

What is a trade mark?

A registered trade mark is a sign which helps distinguish a traders goods or services from other traders. A registered trade mark can help protect and distinguish a brand from other brands in the marketplace, thus becoming a vital component of any effective marketing strategy. In Australia trade mark registration is governed by the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) (Act). [Read more…]

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