Use unlicensed software at your peril

  Nowadays a business could not operate without software – accounting, CRM, project management, communications software etc.  But what happens if the business is to be sold to another entity?  Normally a business uses software under a copyright licence.  It does not own the software outright. If a new entity is to take over the […]

The problem for users of Google’s dynamic keyword insertion

Is it a good idea to use someone else’s name as a Google keyword and Google headline? The Full Court of the Federal Court has recently said “no”.  Google keywords on a website are not visible but they are used to attract consumers to the site when that keyword is typed into the Google search […]

Using a company’s logo to criticise the company

AGL v GreenpeaceAGL, an Australian energy company, used the logo: AGL claimed ownership of the copyright in this logo as well as having registered the logo as a trade mark. Copyright works can include artistic works, such as a logo, and literary works, including business documents. Greenpeace has a long history of environmental activism. It […]

Fearless Girl meets Australian Intellectual Property Law

Fearless Girl is the name of a bronze statue of a strong and confident girl created by Kristen Visbal and installed in New York City in 2017.  The statue was funded by financial company State Street US and its unveiling was timed to coincide with a marketing campaign by State Street US that sought to […]

NSW disclosure requirements apply to suppliers outside NSW

Suppliers outside New South Wales New South Wales has introduced a new law that requires suppliers, before they supply goods or services, to take reasonable steps to ensure that the consumer is aware of the substance and effect of any term or condition relating to the supply that may substantially prejudice the interests of the […]

Is copying another’s product legal?

This question was answered “no” in the case of Lumen Australia Pty Ltd v Frontline Australasia Pty Ltd [2018] FCA 1807but the answer may be different in other circumstances. The facts Lumen supplied Frontline with electronic automotive components for inclusion in towbar kits that were supplied by Frontline to Mitsubishi and Mazda.  Frontline, for profit […]

Three Myths about Commercial Agreements

Having practised for 30 years, I know that there are certain misconceptions about drafting commercial agreements: All that a lawyer does to produce an agreement is just take a precedent off the shelf and insert the names and addresses of the parties. In the area of intellectual property (“IP”) agreements, it couldn’t be further from […]

Important changes to labelling of hand sanitiser

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic many companies have been making hand sanitiser. But issues have arisen about their effectiveness, alcohol content and the risk of ingestion.  New rules commenced on 25 November 2020 to address these issues.  The rules apply to hand sanitiser that is regulated under cosmetics regulations.  From 25 May 2021 […]

High penalties for misrepresentations

Penalties for making false or misleading statements about goods and services can be substantial.  Maximum penalties have dramatically increased from $1.1 million for companies to a maximum of the greater of: $10 million; or 3 times the value of the benefit received by the company from the breach; or if the value of the benefit […]

Is a descriptive trade mark the best mark for your business?

Businesses often choose a trade mark that exactly describes their business or product eg Smith & Co Plumbing, being the plumbing business run by Mr Smith.  There is nothing wrong with this.  The name is easy to remember and easily searchable.  If the business is likely to remain a small, family owned business that will […]