Isobel Taylor (AU)

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Aristocrat Technologies: The Future Patentability of Gaming Technology and Computer-Implemented Inventions

Last month, the High Court dismissed an appeal by gaming technology provider Aristocrat Technologies over whether computerised components in their electronic gaming machines (EGMs) which triggered a “feature game” constituted patentable subject matter. The judgment was split evenly between the six justices. Although in theory the ruling should provide more clarity on the increasingly important … Continue reading

Please, sir, I want some more: Orphan works and other copyright law reforms

Late last year, the Australian government released the long-awaited Exposure Draft of the Copyright Amendment (Access Reform) Bill 2021 (Cth) (Bill). The Bill is designed to implement aspects of the Government’s response to the Productivity Commission’s 2016 Inquiry into Intellectual Property Arrangements (on which we reported at the time here and here). As is often … Continue reading

Choc it out: Lindt’s golden bunny granted trade mark recognition in the EU

It is well-established that a shape or colour alone can function as a trade mark, that is, a badge of origin indicating to consumers the source of the relevant goods or services. However, in practice, achieving the level of ubiquity required to be granted such a trade mark registration can be difficult.[1] It is also … Continue reading

Stranger than Sci-Fi Part 2: Should Artificial Intelligence machines be recognised as owners of IP?

IP legislation often finds itself struggling to plug gaps in the law caused by the rapid pace of technological change, and the state of the law surrounding ownership of AI-generated products is no different. In the first article of this series, we considered how current Australian patent and copyright law frameworks would deal with questions … Continue reading

Stranger than Sci-Fi: Can (and should) Artificial Intelligence machines own intellectual property?

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, refers to the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behaviour. Though it sounds like something out of a sci-fi film, the reality is that AI is quickly becoming a norm in our everyday lives, from the simple AI systems used to sort email inboxes, to complex AI systems known … Continue reading

Fakes welcome? IP protection lags behind for Indigenous artworks in Australia

In a symbolic win for Indigenous artists, the Federal Court of Australia has recently ordered a seller of fake Indigenous-style souvenirs to pay AU$2.3 million in pecuniary penalties for contraventions of the misleading and deceptive conduct provisions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). While the Court’s ruling appears to be a positive move in the … Continue reading

Ghost of rulings past: why virtual designs are not yet covered by Australian IP law

Virtual or non-physical designs, which include graphical user interfaces and screen icons, are designs that impact the appearance of a product through software displayed on an electronic screen. Many of these designs have become ubiquitous in our everyday lives. Well-known and familiar virtual designs range from the Snapchat ghost app button on our phones to … Continue reading

Don’t Rokt the boat: developments in the patentability of computer implemented inventions in Australia

With the continued rise of digital technologies and mining of big data, computer implemented inventions (CIIs) are being increasingly utilised in a wide range of industries. CIIs enable companies to deliver more personalised products and solutions to consumers, whether in the form of more personalised medical treatments and diagnostic tools in the pharmaceutical and healthcare … Continue reading

Copyright vs Freedom of the Internet: Round 1 just passed the European Parliament

At the end of last month, the European Union Parliament adopted a controversial new “Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market” (Directive). One of the stated aims of the Directive is to give copyright holders such as musicians, artists, performers and authors greater bargaining power against tech giants like Google, YouTube and Facebook in … Continue reading

No safe harbour: Online platforms face choppy waters when it comes to copyright infringement

The liability of internet intermediaries for copyright infringement is a hot topic of conversation at the moment, both in Australia and overseas. Sweeping reforms have just been passed by the EU Parliament, and Australian copyright legislation in this area has been the subject of significant judicial consideration in recent years. In this article, we consider … Continue reading

Australian Trademarks Law Review – Edition 2

2018 marked the publication of the first Australian Trademarks Law Review from the Law Review series. The Law Review collates cross-border legal insights and analysis across a range of practice areas and is a useful resource for in-house counsel of global organizations. Following the publishing of the first edition of the Australian chapter of 2018 … Continue reading

No use crying over spilt (plant-based-dairy-free-alternatives-to) milk?

Every trendy café these days seems to have a selection of dairy-free milk alternatives as long as a wine list, from the usual suspects like soy, coconut and almond, to more unusual new favourites like rice, hemp, pea, flax and oat. With vegan, dairy-free or plant-based diets becoming more and more popular for health, environmental, … Continue reading

Amended Australian IP laws receive Royal Assent with little fanfare

On 24 August 2018, the creatively named Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 1 and Other Measures) Bill 2018 quietly received Royal Assent, with some parts of the new Act entering into force the following day. As the name indicates, the primary focus of the new legislation is to implement the recommendations made … Continue reading

Mirror, mirror on the wall, what’s my taxable Insta value after all?

In sad news for celebrities and Instagram influencers across Australia, the introduction of the so-called ‘fame tax’ as part of a raft of integrity measures announced in the 2018/19 budget means that they could end up paying higher taxes on the income and non-cash benefits earned through the commercial exploitation of their image rights. In … Continue reading

Shocking your clients just became passé: US Court takes away the edge from scandalous brands

Thanks to two recent rulings of the US Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit Court, trade marks containing “disparaging”, “immoral” and “scandalous” matter are no longer barred from obtaining registration in the United States of America. In the past, the US Patent and Trade Mark Office (USPTO) had the power … Continue reading

‘Apples, Beatles and four decades of litigation’ – Cautionary tales for start-ups settling on a new brand name

Apple: the world’s most successful company, with an estimated worth of three-quarters of a trillion dollars. It’s no wonder that would-be tech entrepreneurs around the world are sitting around in black turtlenecks, jeans and New Balance sneakers, poring over Steve Jobs’ biography and trying to work out how they might emulate his success in their … Continue reading

Telstra hits a home run in defending its “Go to Rio” Olympiads

Last year, we reported on a decision of the Federal Court of Australia, in which the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) unsuccessfully sought injunctive relief to prevent Telstra from running its “Go to Rio” advertising campaign in the lead-up to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio.[1] In an attempt to preserve the value of its … Continue reading

Promoting an innovation economy – Australian Government responds to Productivity Commission’s report into IP arrangements

We recently published an article on the potential impact on the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry Report on Intellectual Property Arrangements (Report) on Australia’s innovation economy. The Australian Government has now responded to the Report, supporting the Commission’s recommendations to reform the patent system, but stopping short of embracing the extensive copyright overhaul recommended in the Report, … Continue reading

What’s in a name? How to protect yourself if your name is your personal brand

Cher, Prince, Oprah, Bono – all of these celebrities have one thing in common – the capacity to be recognised by nothing more than a single name. For businesses which are built on the success of a personal brand, a name can be a crucial component of being recognised by consumers. But the question remains: should … Continue reading
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