Don’t forget to read the fine print – proposed changes to Facebook’s policies as a result of $20million class settlement

Fancy yourself as the face of a major brand? Facebook’s proposed refresh of its advertising and data use policy (as a result of a $20million class action settlement) means your big break might be just around the corner.  However, the catch is, you won’t be paid for it, nor be aware of what you are endorsing. These issues are what …

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A black and white ban on software patents in NZ? Not ‘as such’…

Peter Jackson made New Zealand famous for trolls, but when it comes to “patent trolls” and their potential to stifle innovation, especially in the software sphere, it appears the New Zealand legislature has been less welcoming. This week, a proposed amendment to the Patents Act to exclude computer programs (i.e. software) from patentable subject matter met with almost unanimous approval. …

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More patent changes on the way: compulsory licensing and a trans-Tasman regime

In what has already been a big year for changes to IP legislation in Australia (especially for patent law), more changes are on the way. Not to be confused with the reforms made under the Intellectual Property Law Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012 (Cth), a new Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2013 (Cth) (‘the Bill’) was introduced into the …

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Software Patents Strike Back – RPL Central v Commissioner of Patents

It’s been a busy year in software patents, all over the world. We’ve had decisions on this issue in Australia, headlined by Research Affiliates in February, and in the US the Federal Circuit split 5:5 in a case concerning an Australian company, Alice v CLS Bank in April. More recently, the New Zealand parliament passed a new Patents Act which …

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Re-thinking the role of IP: a lecture by Dr Francis Gurry

The world’s wealth is increasingly becoming centred on intellectual capital, according to Dr Francis Gurry at his presentation at Melbourne University on Thursday 22 August 2013. Dr Gurry is the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), and the highest-ranking Australian official in a United Nations agency. The organisers of the fifth annual Francis Gurry Lecture on Intellectual …

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Blurring the Lines of copyright infringement: Yet another controversy for Robin #Thicke over hit song

Robin Thicke’s hit single “Blurred Lines” has certainly had its fair share of both popularity and controversy. From the success of being Billboard’s No. 1 song and No. 1 album, to the claims of sexism over its lyrics and 18+ film clip and various parody videos criticising its use of #stupidhashtags, the latest development is somewhat less salacious. Thicke and …

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Sexy but too similar? App developers “Bang-ed” up over trade mark dispute

What happens when you take three College aged guys, a few hours of spare time, Red Bull, vodka, and a smartphone? Why, a new “casual sex matchmaking app” called “Bang With Friends”!   Unfortunately for our anonymous trio (yes, despite the “honesty” of the app they refuse to reveal their identities) the hangover may last a while.  In late July 2013, Zynga, makers …

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Just genes? Lessons from the Myriad litigation

Last month the United States Supreme Court ruled that certain naturally occurring DNA sequences (the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, mutations in which are associated with a significantly increased risk of ovarian and breast cancer) were a product of nature that were not rendered patentable by virtue of being isolated from the rest of the genome.  (For further details on the …

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Federal Election 2013: who will be watching you?

The 2013 Australian Federal Election has already been coined the ‘Social Media Election’, but even savvy users who frequently turn to social media platforms to track trending political issues may have been surprised by last week’s announcement that Yahoo!7 and Seven News were partnering with Facebook to provide unique insights into Australian opinions on the election.  Unlike Twitter, which is …

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