Category Archive for: ‘Technology’

Mandatory data retention bill introduced to Australian parliament

Today the Australian government introduced its much anticipated bill to amend telecommunications laws to require providers of certain communications services to retain so-called “metadata” about the communications they carry. The government clearly anticipates that the proposals will be controversial – the Explanatory Memorandum accompanying the bill includes a detailed “Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights” of 144 paragraphs. Amongst other …

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Domain name disputes and the onus of truth

Avid readers of this blog might be aware of the au Dispute Resolution Policy (the “auDRP”). The purpose of the auDRP is to provide a cheaper, speedier, alternative to litigation for the resolution of dispute between the registrant of a domain name and a party claiming competing rights in that domain name. The auDRP is our version of ICANN’s UDRP, …

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Should we #RenameISIS? When trade marks attack

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” – Shakespeare What if roses, instead of being called “roses”, were called “stink bells”?  Would they smell as sweet?  What if they were called “crapweed” or “stench blossoms”, as Bart Simpson famously suggested? What about if they were called “ISIS”? Unfortunately, this …

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Possessory liens over IP or data

I recently caught up on some UK legal developments, and was struck by a decision which held that the English common law did not recognise a lien over intangible property. Much of what the Court of Appeal had to say in its decision is likely to be influential in Australia. The case involved two parties who had entered into a …

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IP & Competition Law…a match made in reform heaven?

Yesterday, the Competition Policy Review Panel released its Draft Report on the effectiveness of Australia’s current competition policy and laws, and its recommendations for the promotion of competition across the economy. Our colleagues over at In Competition published this brief post here and a more detailed alert here, focusing on the broader aspects of competition policy reform canvassed in the …

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Can a computer decide whether two business names are “nearly identical”?

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal decided at the end of August 2014 that the prior registration of “Melbourne Children’s Psychology Clinic” as a business name prevented the registration of “Melbourne Child Psychology” and “Melbourne Child Psychology Services” because the latter names were “nearly identical” to the former. Whilst the decision traversed issues of the kind familiar to any practitioner with some …

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The supply of a right to use source code

A Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia held recently that a fairly typical software distribution agreement did not confer on the distributor a right to use source code. One may ask why would the parties need to know? The answer lies in the application of royalty withholding tax to payments made by Australian taxpayers to Canadian software licensors. …

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E-tail & the details: consumer guarantees & overseas e-tailers

There wouldn’t be many people left who haven’t purchased something from overseas.  E-commerce is booming here and overseas.  But while it’s great for consumers and opens up new markets for businesses, it isn’t without its legal issues.  For example, do the rules preventing companies from misleading and deceiving consumers in Australia apply to statements made by overseas companies over the …

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Google around the world: privacy, e-commerce and the “right to be forgotten”

A panel of people appointed by Google is meeting in Madrid today to debate the balance between privacy and freedom of information. This is the first of seven meetings set to take place across various European capitals, instigated by the “internet giant” after the controversial “right to be forgotten” ruling of the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in May this …

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