Monday, 8 May 2017

Australia to become a destination of choice for clinical trials

The National Health and Medical Research Council has established the Clinical Trials Ready initiative in an effort to make Australia a destination of choice for conducting clinical trials.  Clinical trials offer significant contributions to the economy, providing incentive for making the Australian industry more competitive internationally.

The initiative aims to identify potential sites that are ready, willing and able to conduct clinical trials in a safe and transparent environment.  It is hoped that this will improve overall transparency and make the approval process more efficient.

A draft proposal of how the initiative may look is currently in the hands of members of the advisory group and jurisdictional representatives.  It is expected more progress will be made in the coming months with a second meeting of the advisory group.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Equity crowd funding finally past the post - but is it a dodo?

It is good to see that the equity crowd funding laws have finally been cleared for Australia, with the Senate having passed the Bill on Monday. This was following finalisation of the debate on proposed cooling off rights for retail investors (which was ultimately extended from 48 hours to five days). The laws allow unlisted public companies with less than $25 million in assets and turnover to raise up to $5 million in funds in this way.

As per our earlier blogs, a key potential chink in the armour of the new laws is its limited application to public companies and not proprietary (private) companies, which represent 99% of small businesses.

This has been recognised by various stakeholders, including Labor, with Opposition digital economy spokesman Ed Husic suggesting that amendments will be required in the near term and suggesting that “any future changes will make today's new dodo of a system extinct within the year, as smaller business opt for a better alternative.

Friday, 17 March 2017

A $1.5 million price tag for unlawfully exploiting Aboriginal intangible heritage

Nine out of 10 Australians agree that Aboriginal art is an important part of Australian culture.1 This recognition, however, is not always reflected in laws that would ordinarily be expected to protect Australian cultural heritage. The significant value of Aboriginal art and tradition, both financially and culturally, makes it a target for exploitation within the Australian and overseas markets, and not always lawfully.

While works by individual artists are generally protected by copyright, there are limited statutory rights for the broader protection of what is characterised as ‘intangible’ cultural heritage.  Whilst this remains the position in every Australian jurisdiction, the State of Victoria has now broken ranks.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Privacy law update - data breaches must now be notified

It is time to review your cyber security posture


In brief
Australia’s federal privacy laws are set for their most significant amendment since the introduction of the Australian Privacy Principles in 2012.  

On Monday, Parliament passed the Privacy Amendments (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 (the Bill), which will make it mandatory for entities regulated by the Privacy Act to notify of any data breach that is likely to result in serious harm.

These amendments have been a long time coming.  They were originally recommended as part of the Australian Law Reform Committee’s 2008 report on Australia’s privacy laws, and then were proposed as part of the legislative package of changes in 2015 that required telecommunications providers to store metadata.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Goodbye ATMOSS, hello ‘Australian Trade Mark Search’

On Saturday 11 February 2017, trade mark professionals will bid farewell to ATMOSS (the current trade mark searching system), as IP Australia launches the new ‘Australian Trade Mark Search’.  After the launch, users will be automatically redirected from ATMOSS to the Australian Trade Mark Search.  Key features include new text searches, wildcards and image searching. The new system is more user friendly, will improve efficiencies in searching, and will assist practitioners more broadly with trade mark filing strategy and advice.  

If you have any queries relating to the new system or need advice regarding trade marks, please contact:

Belinda Breakspear

It’s a case of better the Kylie you know as trade mark battle ends

Australian pop-star Kylie Minogue’s long running battle with reality tv-star Kylie Jenner, and Jenner’s attempt to trade mark the name ‘Kylie’ appears to have ended. 

Kylie Jenner, the youngest of the Kardashian clan, submitted a U.S. trade mark application in 2015 to protect her first name in relation to advertising and endorsement services. 

Minogue’s representative business, KBD, retaliated by filing a notice of opposition to the application on the basis that Minogue is an “internationally renowned performing artist, humanitarian, and breast cancer activist known worldwide simply as ‘Kylie’” while Jenner is “a secondary reality television personality”.  The notice went on to argue that the Kylie trade mark would likely cause confusion with, and tarnish, Minogue’s long list of existing trade mark registrations including Kylie Minogue Darling, Kylie Minogue and her website kylie.com.