Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Have your candy (crush) and eat it too – legal issues in app development

By Tracy Lu, Associate

In 2008, with Apple's launch of the App Store, a brand new market for mobile apps was born. This article discusses some of the legal issues which may be involved in app development.

Confidential information

Being the first to come up with a knockout idea is sometimes critical to the success of an app. However, copyright laws do not afford protection to concepts and ideas, but only their expression. Therefore, when sharing ideas with others, such as during a pitch for funding, it is prudent for the parties involved to come prepared with a well-drafted confidentiality agreement.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Isolated genetic material confirmed as patentable

By Dr Tony Shaw, Associate and Patent Attorney

In a unanimous decision handed down today in D'Arcy v Myriad Genetics, the Full Federal Court, comprising a full bench of five judges, has dismissed the appeal from the decision of Justice Nicholas in Cancer Voices v Myriad Genetics and confirmed that genetic materials in their isolated form remain patentable in Australia.

As we have previously reported here, in Cancer Voices v Myriad Genetics Justice Nicholas found isolated nucleic acids to be a 'manner of manufacture' as required by the Patents Act 1990 and therefore patentable subject matter. Applying the High Court's decision in the landmark NRDC case, his Honour held that isolated nucleic acids consist of 'an artificial state of affairs, that has some discernible effect, and that is of utility in a field of economic endeavor' and are patentable. Relevantly, Justice Nicholas noted that NRDC does not require the court to ask whether a composition of matter is a 'product of nature' for the purpose of deciding whether or not it constitutes patentable subject matter.

Latest edition of Food Law Bulletin

Today Allens has released the September 2014 Food Law Bulletin.

It has the latest on Certification Trade Marks; the ACCC's current enforcement activities on credence claims in food labelling; the development of a national information standard for the contentious area of 'free-range' eggs in light of the industry's failure to self-regulate; and an ACCC cartel proceeding that highlights the potential dangers of the relationship between producers and the industry bodies that represent them.

The Food Law Bulletin is available from the Allens website.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Patently false: the rise of fake renewal notices

By Kimberley Evans, Associate, Trade Marks Attorney

We frequently receive emails and telephone calls from our clients asking whether a patent or trade mark renewal notice from 'generic company name including reference to a patent or trade mark registry' such as Patent and Trademark Organisation is legitimate and should be paid. Our standard response is that, as our firm is the address for service for that patent or trade mark, clients can ignore any renewal correspondence that requests payment and is not issued on our letterhead. There is an increasing number of organisations that send out these 'renewal notices' and IP Australia warns against unsolicited renewal services on its website.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Location, location, location: the dangers of geographical names

By James Gonczi, Lawyer

The Full Federal Court recently handed down its decision in Kosciuszko Thredbo Pty Limited v ThredboNet Marketing Pty Limited.

Kosciuszko Thredbo Pty Limited (KT, the appellant) has operated the very popular Thredbo Village and Thredbo Resort since the 1980s. In that time the appellant has spent in excess of $150 million on projects around the village and resort. 

Unless you're a snow aficionado or serious Thredbo regular, you may well be unaware that KT holds a lease over essentially everything in Thredbo (that's the geographical area of Thredbo, including most of the accommodation, bars, restaurants and chair lifts). ThredboNet Marketing Pty Limited (TN, the respondent) is a sub-lessee, which manages rental properties in Thredbo using the domain name The appellant took legal action in an effort to prevent the respondent from using the name 'Thredbo' in its domain name.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Update on AstraZeneca v Apotex

As promised in our post on the five-judge decision in AstraZeneca v Apotex, we have now published a Focus article providing an in-depth analysis of this decision.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The ACIP Innovation Patent Review: Where are the roadside posts leading us?

By Lester Miller, Senior Associate

Australia's innovation patent system has done an excellent job of protecting incremental inventions, but it can be confusing. A person receives a granted patent before an examiner has determined patentability, but the innovation patent can't be enforced until after optional examination and certification. After certification the patent can be enforced, even though the concept may be obvious.
The Advisory Council on Intellectual Property was tasked in February 2011 by the former Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research to review whether the innovation system was working to stimulate innovation in SMEs. ACIP consulted widely, and recently released its final report, which includes six recommendations to the Federal Government.