Legal issues to consider when starting a business
Expert Advice
Starting a new business is an exciting time. A difficulty may be getting all necessary legal advice, and mechanisms in...
Procurement of goods & services
Expert Advice
We procure goods and services every day. For simple day to day transactions, there is generally no formal contract in...
Unauthorised use of your brand – what are your options?
Expert Advice
Businesses often see their branding misappropriated. However, the range of intellectual property and allied rights which can attach to branding...
Data breach disclosure now mandatory
Intellectual Property
Australian companies, individuals and Australian government agencies will soon have new responsibilities for data breaches occurring anywhere in the world. The new laws will impact directly on Australian organisations involved in the collection and use of personal data, and indirectly on overseas businesses offering cloud services and data storage for Australian organisations. If an organisation suspects that personal information under...
Trade Mark Examiner Adverse Reports – not necessarily fatal to your application
Expert Advice
After a trade mark application is filed it is examined by a Trade Mark Examiner. All trade mark applicants hope to get a "clear" Examination Report. This enables the application to be advertised as accepted. However, many applicants receive an Examiner's "adverse report", leaving some to think the application is "dead in the water" (not automatically true) and others wondering...
Penfolds raises a glass in China
Expert Advice
In a landmark ruling from the Beijing High People's Court, Treasury Wine Estates ("TWE"), the owner of the 'Penfolds' wine brand, has successfully challenged the registration of the lucrative 'Ben Fu' trade mark which had been registered by well-known 'trade mark squatter', Li Daozhi, in China. TWE had failed to register the trade mark, a Chinese transliteration of the Penfolds...
Use it or lose it – not just a wild goose chase
Expert Advice
Australian trade mark law provides mechanisms where a registered trade mark can be expunged (removed) from the trade mark register if the mark in question has not been used in the preceding three year period . This ground exists under section 92 of theTrade Marks Act 1995 Cth) (the Act). What constitutes use? The volume of use required to defeat...
B2B contracts – unfair contract terms
Expert Advice
If you are reading this B2B article, it is likely you are interested in B2B transactions. The Australian Consumer Laws (the ACL) protect consumers from unfair contract terms in standard form contracts. With effect from 12 November 2016 these protections will extend to B2B transactions for small business. These extensions will allow for unfair contract terms in small business contracts...
Be COOL when selling and exporting food or wine products
Expert Advice
Labels assist consumers in distinguishing one product from another. Domestic industries protect their home turf against imported products that make ambiguous claims about origin of products. Laws at both the international and domestic level enforce a differentiation between local and foreign products. There are two broad categories of labelling laws you need to keep in mind when selling into any...
International protection of Trade Marks
Expert Advice
We often meet with clients who are surprised to learn that their registered Australian trade marks do not extend to registered rights in other countries. Like other forms of IP, trade marks are registered on a per country basis. If wishing to extend protection of your Australian trade mark rights to other countries, do you need to engage lawyers or...
International Trade and Intellectual Property
Expert Advice
The Australian Financial Review recently contained two articles which highlighted the growing importance of intellectual property in international trade. The first article was titled "China rival US as biggest wine market". This article referred to Australian wine exporters benefitting from the free-trade agreement and the growing demand for wine among China's middle class. Wine exports to China are reported to...
Running an event? legal issues to consider
Expert Advice
What a great time of the year. Olympic Games, Wimbledon, Tour de France, football codes getting closer to finals. I love major sporting events. Competing in Olympic and Common wealth Games were highlights of my "former life" as an athlete. Working as an in-house lawyer on the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the Volvo Ocean Race are highlights as a lawyer....
Marathon: an event, a brand, a metaphor?
Expert Advice
MARATHON. What is it? Well, it depends who you ask. It is an event? Yes, of course it is. Just ask the thousands of people who run 42.195km in events conducted through the streets of most major cities each year, or the athletes preparing to run the Olympic marathon. It is a brand? Yes. A search of the Australian trade...
Risks associated with using a descriptive brand name
Expert Advice
When selecting a new business name or brand, it is tempting to select words that describe your goods or services. The benefit of course is that when consumers see your brand, they will know what you do. The use of online search terms makes a brand that describes your goods or services all the more tempting. The problem for descriptive...
Collaboration in ICT projects – managing the risk and reaping the rewards
Expert Advice
It is common for people or companies in the ICT industry to "team" up for various reasons. There are a wide range of examples such as: a. a software / app developer subcontracting some development of code; b. an incorporated or an unincorporated joint venture being formed for an ICT project; c. software / hardware or other ICT products being...
Legal issues to consider when starting a business
Expert Advice
Starting a new business is an exciting time. Although cash flow can be tight when starting out, this is an important time to receive professional advice, as it limits the risk of unintended issues arising later. What are the legal issues / advice / documents you will need before you start your business? There is no such thing as "one...
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