Region: Australia

Overlap in copyright and design rights – are the governing laws inconsistent?

Sections 74 to 77A of the Copyright Act 1968 set out convoluted laws governing the enforceability of copyright when an artistic work is produced in commercial numbers. However, when the definitions of "design" in the Copyright Act and the Designs Act 2003 are compared, it is clear that there are significant discrepancies between the two, making it unclear whether Sections 74 to 77A can actually work.

24 July 2013

Karoun v Karoun: use of mark and obstacles to use reviewed

The recent Australian Trademarks Office decision in <i>Karoun Dairies SAL v Karoun Dairies Inc</i> has confirmed what will not amount to use and what will not amount to a relevant obstacle to use, in the context of a removal action. The decision makes it clear that a long-term intent to use is not enough to protect a registration from removal on the basis of non-use.

17 July 2013

Compulsory licensing and crown use of patents: report released

The Productivity Commission has released a report on the compulsory licensing provisions of the Patents Act. Compulsory licensing is becoming a sensitive issue internationally, particularly in relation to affordable healthcare. This review was endorsed by the Australian government following reviews on gene patents.

05 June 2013

Impact of Raising the Bar reforms on patenting behaviour

April 2013 was a frenetic month of patenting activity in Australia. New data from the Australian Patent Office illustrates the profound effect of recent patent law reform on the number of requests for examination. The spike in examination requests is likely to lead to a significant increase in the average time taken by the Patent Office to examine a patent application following a request.

29 May 2013

Google revises AdWords trademark policy: keyword advertising to go unchecked

Google will no longer monitor or restrict keyword advertising following receipt of trademark complaints in Australia and certain other countries. The announcement follows a recent decision of the High Court of Australia that Google was not responsible for the misleading use of the AdWords service by advertisers that paid Google to display their sponsored links in response to particular search terms.

17 April 2013

Functional ingredients: the past may come back to bite you!

A recent decision by the Full Bench of the Federal Court may have a far-reaching impact on the food technology sector in Australia. The case raises concerns for developers of food products with ingredients which impart beneficial functions other than supporting good nutrition.

10 April 2013

Government pledges new equity funding for innovative start-ups

The Australian government’s recently released Industry and Innovation Statement contains a number of measures aimed at securing and increasing the number of Australian jobs. It also contains legislative measures that directly affect existing small and medium-sized enterprises and large companies, as well as start-up businesses, engaged in developing new and innovative products and processes.

13 March 2013

Extension of time provisions to extend patent terms

In an appeal from a Patent Office decision to grant an extension of time, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal recently considered whether the Patent Office had the power to grant an extension of time to apply for an extension of a patent term outside the prescribed period, and whether the office’s use of discretionary powers in awarding the extension was justified.

27 February 2013

Federal Court of Australia confirms that human genes are patentable

In <i>Cancer Voices Australia v Myriad Genetics Inc</i> – a landmark decision concerning the patentability of BRCA genes which are found in sufferers of breast and ovarian cancers – a single judge of the Federal Court of Australia has held that human genes are patentable. The judge distinguished this case from the US Court of Appeals decision in <i>Association for Molecular Pathology v United States Patent and Trademark Office</i>.

20 February 2013

Are you ready for the raised bar in Australia?

The Australian patent and other IP laws are set to undergo their most significant change in a number of years. The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act passed into law last year, and the majority of the provisions will come into effect on 15th April 2013. The changes will affect trademark, design, plant breeders' rights and copyright law, but most notably patent law.

06 February 2013

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