Privacy and employee records – CP and Dept of Defence

The Privacy Commissioner’s determination in the matter of CP and the Department of Defence illustrates one significant difference in the treatment of federal agencies and private sector organisations under the federal Privacy Act. This case involved an employee of the department who had made a claim for worker’s compensation in respect of an injury alleged to be work-related. The department …

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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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Negotiating the perils and pitfalls of corporate social media: a lesson from Madden v Seafolly

Online social media is now widely acknowledged as the new frontier of corporate communications.  Indeed, nearly 80 per cent of large companies now use social media to connect with their customers.  Having an online presence has become effectively mandatory, but with that comes a range of risks, including in relation to potentially misleading or defamatory statements. The recent decision in …

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Jack Wills, McDonald’s, Bunnings v Masters, Tesco, Cadbury, Coke v Pepsi and much, much more – 15 recent case “bites” and 5 tips on brand protection in the retail space for 2014 so far

2014 has been a topsy-turvy year so far in the retail and FMCG spaces in terms of trade mark decisions in Australia, New Zealand and the UK and EU. It is worth looking at a few recent decisions to help guide big and not-so-big names with their brand protection strategies. You win some … In the “battle of the bird …

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Not all fun and games in copycat litigation

The gaming industry (and gamers) will be watching two recent US cases with great anticipation. In these cases, law suits have been brought against alleged copycat games, relying on causes of action including copyright, trade dress and patent infringement. The decisions raise the important and interesting question – can you protect the rules and implementation of a game? What about …

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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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A straw-poll for our readers – what wine bottle label is this??

We like to think that we know our readers quite well here at IP Whiteboard. But do we? Really?? Obviously they’re incredibly smart and ridiculously good looking, and have great taste. But what are their thought processes when they’re let loose in the supermarket or bottle-shop? With the aim of getting to know you a little better, we thought that …

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