Region: Australia

CSIRO takes a leaf from the Silicon Valley VC book to maximise value of publicly funded IP assets

In the face of extensive cuts to its funding and personnel, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Institute (CSIRO) – Australia’s state-funded R&D agency – is turning to the venture capital industry for inspiration in the hope that it…

04 May 2015

Ongoing summer of sport affected by inventions

So far in 2015 sports fans have had plenty to watch: the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup football tournament reached its climax, the Cricket World Cup is underway in Australia and New Zealand, and the Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix takes place shortly. The intensive sports coverage of these events around the world highlights the need for sporting inventions.

11 March 2015

Teen sensations 5 Seconds of Summer bring unwanted notoriety to ATMO

The Australian Trademark Office's treatment of a trademark application filed by boy band 5 Seconds of Summer demonstrates that it does not matter how famous a trademark applicant is (or thinks it is) – the rules of trademark registration are the same for everybody.

04 March 2015

Personal property securities and intellectual asset management: thinking outside the box

The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 was introduced to reduce the uncertainties in creating, registering and searching for security interests held over personal property in Australia, and to an extent it has achieved this purpose. However, the act can have surprising consequences for rights holders and IP financiers.

27 August 2014

Minister proposes patents, not papers, as basis for research grants

In a recent address, Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane stated that university researchers should receive government grants based on the number of patents they are granted, not the number of academic papers they publish. Although the minister is correct in identifying that Australia is lagging in its protection of intellectual property, his proposal has faced harsh criticism and has fundamental flaws.

20 August 2014

Plain packaging for alcohol may happen sooner than you think

Since late 2012 cigarettes and other tobacco products in Australia must be sold in plain packaging and include large health warnings and disturbing graphics of the ill-health effects of smoking. This led to debate over how plain packaging might spread to other industries, particularly the alcohol industry. Now New South Wales has taken initial steps that may eventually lead to plain packaging laws for alcohol products.

13 August 2014

End of the road: BP runs out of fuel in long-running attempt to register green as trademark

IP Australia has refused a long-running application by oil giant BP to register the colour green as a trademark in relation to vehicle service stations. The decision comes more than 12 years after BP filed its trademark application. However, it is unlikely that the outcome will surprise many, given BP’s past failed attempts to register green trademarks in Australia.

23 July 2014

The Australian patent area: as obscure as fog at sea?

For many commercially important sectors (eg, manufacturing, onshore mining and pharmaceuticals), definition of the 'Australian patent area' presents no issue. However, this question is far from straightforward where patented inventions are practised offshore, particularly in the growing offshore natural gas sector.

26 March 2014

You have a patent – now what?

Once you have obtained a granted Australian patent, preliminary steps can be taken to enforce your rights without necessarily instigating court proceedings, such as a cease and desist letter and customs actions. Careful consideration should be given to an intention to send a cease and desist letter as there are risks associated with making allegations of infringement in Australia.

05 March 2014

Remedies for IP rights infringement: delay and injunction

Remedies for IP rights infringement in Australia include monetary compensation and injunctions. An injunction to restrain infringement is a powerful remedy and is sought as relief in many infringement cases. However, the remedy for infringement can be conditioned to take account of the plaintiff’s conduct, so the enforcement of IP rights should not be delayed.

19 February 2014

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