Artifex Software v Hancom: Guidance from US District Court on enforcement of open source software licences

Open source software is regularly used as a way of leveraging the collective knowledge of the software development community by allowing anyone to improve and contribute to the code, provided they ‘pay it forward’ and allow their improved code to be used by the community. Open source software is often incorporated into proprietary software to read more...

How many codes must a man walk down? Coding and copyright cross paths in the FCA

For most of us, our exposure to software code is limited to the Matrix and those terrifying moments when you accidentally open Terminal on your Mac. However, as computers slowly and silently assume dominion over every facet of our lives, it’s inevitable that the mysteries of source code will increasingly confront us with novel challenges. read more...
Subjects: Copyright | Subjects | Technology

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Big data, big risk – investing in a “largely theoretical” industry

Between 31 May 2012 and 26 March 2013, an Australian husband and wife (Mr and Ms Vinson), through their self-managed superannuation funds, invested $1,250,000 and $1,625,000 respectively in a company that never earned any operating revenue. The company, Semantic Software Asia Pacific Limited (formerly Tralee Technology Holdings Pty Ltd) (Semantic), was a software company looking read more...
Subjects: Patents

Productivity Commission’s final report pulls no punches on patents

Yesterday the Productivity Commission published its final report on Australia’s IP system. Our high level summary of the Commission’s recommendations across all aspects of the IP system can be found here. The Commission sees the patent system as tipped in favour of patent owners and its recommendations are designed to restore balance. This post provides read more...
Subjects: Patents | Technology

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Aristocrat v Global Gaming – it’s all fun and games until someone infringes a trade mark

The Federal Court’s decision in Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd v Global Gaming Supplies Pty Ltd [2016] FCAFC marks the end* of a long-running dispute between the Aristocrat Technologies group and Global Gaming Supplies, Impact Gaming and Tonia Enterprises. *hopefully The Aristocrat group and its trade marks The Aristocrat group supplies gaming technologies and services read more...

500 versions of software – when is a new version of software original and when does copyright subsist?

The Full Court, in its recent decision JR Consulting & Drafting Pty Limited v Cummings [2016] FCAFC 20 tackled some difficult questions of subsistence of copyright and originality. Considering the circumstance where an original work has been altered by a number of changes that are insubstantial in the context of the foundation work, the Full read more...
Subjects: Copyright

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Unanimous Full Court dismisses Research Affiliates’ appeal

In a decision handed down this afternoon, the Full Court has unanimously dismissed an appeal by Research Affiliates LLC from a decision of Justice Emmett in 2013 (summary here). The Full Court affirmed Justice Emmett’s decision that the claimed invention of two patent applications, in the name of Research Affiliates, is not a manner of read more...
Subjects: Patents | Technology

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 read more...

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 read more...
Subjects: Patents | Technology