New two-tier Federal Court

The Government has announced a restructure of the Federal Courts system, which will expand the Federal Court’s IP jurisdiction.

The Federal Magistrates’ Court will be merged into the Federal Court and the Family Court, so that all IP disputes will be heard at first instance in the Federal Court.  The new Federal Court will have two tiers:

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Piracy under fire

Between July 2005 and May 2006, The Pirate Bay website provided a filesharing service utilising the BitTorrent file transfer protocol.  This protocol involves dividing a principal file (eg a MP3 music file) into segments, which can be identified and accessed by locating small “torrent” files containing metadata about the file to be shared and the computer distributing it.

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It’s easy (and quick) being green – UK to fast-track green patent applications

The United Kingdom has launched an initiative where ‘green’ or environmentally friendly technology can be fast-tracked through the patent application process.  The scheme was launched on 12 May by UK Minister for IP, David Lammy, in a bid to support inventions that may assist in combating climate change.  Under the new scheme, the time for a patent application to progress to grant may be reduced from the usual two to three years to just nine months.

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A cautionary tale (and tips) for inventors

Taking steps to protect your invention could seem like a hassle when you’re buzzing with excitement and want to tell the whole world about your great new idea.  But it’s worth taking a moment to stop and consider how to best protect your invention, as this cautionary tale demonstrates.

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eBay victorious in French battle over counterfeit L’Oreal products

Cosmetics giant L’Oreal launched a trade mark infringement action in France against the online auction house in September 2007, alleging that eBay was not doing enough to combat transactions involving fake L’Oreal perfumes.  Judge Elisabeth Belfort last week ruled in eBay’s favour, finding that eBay had fulfilled its obligation towards other market operators (including L’Oreal) in good faith, by developing eBay’s current anti-counterfeiting measures.  Despite this, Judge Belfort ordered both companies to mediation in order to jointly develop a plan for improvi

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The winner doesn’t always take it all – apportioning costs in patent cases

Everyone is aware of the ordinary rule: costs follow the event.  A successful litigant will recover costs in the absence of special circumstances.  But what constitutes special circumstances in patent cases?  The recent Full Court decision in PAC Mining Pty Ltd v Esco Corporation (No 2) [2009] FCAFC 52 highlights where the Court may depart from the ordinary rule and apportion costs on an issues basis.

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Piracy? Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Twice!

Irish internet provider Eircom has agreed to implement a “three strikes” notice and disconnect regime in settling a case brought against it in the High Court in Ireland by the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA). 

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Who’s spam is it anyway? “Friend email friend” messages

ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) recently fined Optus $110,000 for alleged breaches of the Spam Act 2003 (Cth), in sending electronic messages without accurate sender information.  In light of the significant penalties imposed by ACMA, we think it’s timely to think about “friend emails friend” communications, which may also risk contravening the Act. 

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UK launches informal consultation on the future of copyright

On 16 December 2008 the UK Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills launched an informal consultation on the future direction of copyright. The aim of the consultation is to build on the Gower’s Report released in 2006 and ensure that the copyright system properly supports creative industries in the UK in the light of digital developments over the last decade.

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