Should innovations be more inventive? A call for public comment.

The Federal Government has proposed changes to the innovation patent system, and is seeking public comment. The proposed amendments would require innovation patent applications to demonstrate the same level of inventive step as a standard patent. In 2001, the Patents Act 1990 was amended to create a new lesser class of patents to replace petty patents read more...
Subjects: Patents

Doom delayed: thanks to a software patent

There is certainly a lot of commentary, and legal ink, spilled on the subject of software patents (including on the IP Whiteboard!).  And when we negotiate technology agreements, the IP infringement clause is often highly contentious because neither side wants to bear the almost-impossible-to-quantify-in-advance risk of a third party patent infringement claim.

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Subjects: Patents

Read all about it! Natalie’s article on the Matt Blatt furniture dispute is in The Age this morning

Our fearless leader Natalie Hickey has written an op-ed piece on the ongoing dispute between Matt Blatt and Herman Miller over Matt Blatt's sale of replica Eames furniture. The piece appeared in the Age this morning, and is already generating a fair amount of comment on The Age and SMH websites.

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A-G announces copyright review; AGD “mistakenly” releases wrong Consultation Paper

The Commonwealth Attorney-General gave a keynote speech last Friday at the biennial Copyright Law & Practice Symposium.  The text of the speech is available online, and as you would expect the A-G took the opportunity to make some copyright-related announcements.  The two key “new” announcements in the speech were:

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Subjects: Copyright

Twitter settles tweet twademark fight

Micro-blogging site Twitter has settled its dispute with a company called Twittad over Twittad’s US registered trademark “TWEET”.  Twitter has ended up with ownership of Twittad’s mark, Twittad gets to continue to use the phrase “Let your ad meet your tweets”, and Twitter’s lawsuit against Twittad has been dropped.

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Copyright in concepts – something to ponder when you’re stranded on a desert island

It is an often stated, and indeed axiomatic, principle that copyright law protects expression and not ideas.  So the reproduction of a copyright work without the permission of the author is an infringement of the author’s exclusive statutory rights. Simple enough, right? Well, not really, especially in the context of works that are not merely words on a page, where reproduction cannot be determined by simply asking the question of whether or not the author’s work (or a decent chunk of it) appears in the allegedly infringing work.

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Subjects: Copyright

UK Government responds to the Hargreaves review: Intellectual Property is important for economic growth

As we have previously blogged, Prof Ian Hargreaves published an independent report into intellectual property in the UK in May 2011, titled Digital Opportunity, A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth.  This independent review was set up by the UK Government in November 2010.   

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Subjects: Copyright | Patents

If you want to stop your ex-employees starting up a competitor business, Blackmagic won’t get you there!

In Blackmagic Design Pty Ltd v Overliese the Full Court of the Federal Court was recently asked to consider the legal remedies available to an employer in the event that his or her employee appropriates confidential information for the purposes of establishing a competitor business. 

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I Gotta Feeling … that I’ve heard that somewhere before

The Black Eyed Peas are a band well known to many people (and certainly this author) for a number of songs including "Where Is The Love?", "Let’s Get This Party Started", "I Gotta Feeling" and "Boom Boom Pow".  Unfortunately for the BEP, "I Gotta Feeling" and "Boom Boom Pow" are now the subject of plagiarism claims in the United States.

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Subjects: Copyright