Intellectual Property

Our experienced Intellectual Property legal team regularly publishes articles and updates – the full list of publications appears below. If you'd like to be notified when we add new Intellectual Property publications to the site, please go to our subscription page to sign up for email alerts or, alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS feed.

You can also subscribe to our InIP: what's happening in intellectual property publication.

Read about our track record in Intellectual Property law.

Intellectual Property Publications

  • InIP: What's happening in intellectual property

    22 February 2018

    In this issue we look at a digital rights management platform to help photographers protect their copyright; a new copyright infringement lawsuit against pop superstar Ed Sheeran; an Insta-celebrity clash over the word 'Bod'; changes to Australia's IP laws; the difficulties in comparative advertising; heightened risks that may be faced by patentees when PBS changes take effect; and a Federal Court decision that genetic testing methods continue to be patentable in Australia.

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  • Food Law Bulletin

    19 December 2017

    In this edition we look at the curious case of ‘chicken free chicken’; the fine line between an industry association providing a helping hand and cartel conduct; a rather awkward definition of ‘natural’ from the Federal Court; and changes to the wine equalisation tax regime.

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  • InIP: what's happening in intellectual property

    11 December 2017

    In this issue we look at how you can protect yourself against ambush marketing; a new mandatory data notification regime coming into effect; big data challenges for the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors; a Full Federal Court decision on preliminary discovery in patent infringement proceedings that will be welcomed by IP owners; and some examples of trade mark infringement; and and issues presented by the use of brands in video games.

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  • Client Update: Bested by 'best method' requirement

    15 September 2017

    Australia's unique statutory 'best method' requirement continues to get the better of patent applicants and patentees. Associate Claire Gregg looks at two recent decisions that provide some insight into the requirement of disclosing the best method known to the applicant of performing the invention at the time of filing the complete patent specification. 

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  • Client Update: Full Federal Court overturns decision allowing patent term extension of 'Swiss-style' claims

    11 September 2017

    The Full Federal Court has unanimously held that patent term extensions are not available for second medical use claims involving the use of recombinant DNA technology. This decision overturns a controversial finding of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal last year and means that any patent term extensions granted on the basis of the AAT decision are now invalid. Associate Claire Gregg reports.

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  • Focus: Government responds to Productivity Commission's IP inquiry

    29 August 2017

    The Federal Government has released its response to the recommendations proposed by the Productivity Commission following its inquiry into Australia's IP arrangements. The Productivity Commission's review covered all areas of IP, as well as IP enforcement and international obligations. The Allens Intellectual Property team considers the Government's response to some of the key recommendations.

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  • Focus: Trade mark owners beware

    28 August 2017

    The Federal Court has made it clear that when trade mark applications are filed in the incorrect name, the defect is fatal. Accordingly, it is vital that trade mark owners ensure that valid rights have been secured. Managing Associate Mark Williams reports.

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  • Food Law Bulletin

    26 July 2017

    In this editionwe look at a case demonstrating a major shift in community sentiment away from sugar; proposed new import rules triggered by the frozen berries saga; and how the ACL review might impact the food and beverage industry.

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  • Food Law Bulletin

    21 December 2016

    In this edition we look at the ACCC's case against Heinz's Shredz product and what it means for advertising of high-sugar foods; litigation relating to the health claims of a2 milk; and the new safe harbour provisions for country of origin labelling.

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  • Client Update: Protecting innovation without patents - data exclusivity and market exclusivity

    19 July 2016

    Developments in patent law and the consequential limitations on patentability for biologic medicines mean that data exclusivity and market exclusivity can be the primary protection afforded to originator biologic medicines. This is most stark in the US where patent protection for biologic medicines can be very limited. This seems to be the reason that the US has twelve years of exclusivity, and is pressing for other nations to have similar protection. In the TPP agreement, Australia has committed to providing a comparable outcome in the market to eight years of exclusivity but is robustly resisting extending its current five years of statutory protection. Partner Sarah Matheson and Special Counsel Ric Morgan report.

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  • Food Law Bulletin

    7 July 2016

    In this edition we look at a New Zealand Court of Appeal case that helps to clarify the meaning of 'health claim' under the Food Standards Code; an update on the Country of Origin Labelling regime; changes to the laws relating to the importation of food into Australia introduced by new Biosecurity legislation; and new Food & Drug Administration guidelines for nutrition information labelling for food sold in the US.

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  • Client Update: Full Court comes down hard on business method patent, but software remains patentable

    21 December 2015

    In an eagerly awaited appeal decision in RPL Central v The Commissioner of Patents, the Full Federal Court has decided that the evidence-gathering method the subject of RPL Central's innovation patent was a 'mere scheme', abstract idea or business method that did not constitute patentable subject matter. Partner Chris Bird and Senior Associate Anthony Selleck report.

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  • Client Update: Patent examination guidelines in the wake of Myriad

    18 December 2015

    Following public consultation on proposed examination guidelines issued on 16 October 2015, the Commissioner of Patents has established a revised examination practice taking into account the High Court's decision in D'Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc. Dr Trevor Davies, Partner at Allens Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys, looks at what the new guidelines will mean for innovators.

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  • Food Law Bulletin

    8 December 2015

    In this edition we look at the Federal Government’s proposed Country of Origin Labelling that may be rolled out next year; the impact on food producers of the broader reach for the health claims standard; how ACCC proceedings and a new enforcement guide will give producers and consumers a clearer understanding of what is meant by eggs labelled 'free range'; and a decision of the Western Australian Supreme Court of Appeal that examined whether a farmer of genetically modified crops owed a duty of care to prevent contamination of his organic neighbour’s land.

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  • Client Update: Not quite business as usual - IP Australia takes pragmatic view of Myriad

    19 October 2015

    IP Australia has taken a pragmatic approach to the Myriad decision that will give comfort to Australia's biotechnology industry and research organisations that they can continue to carry out biological R&D and be able to obtain patent protection for innovation in Australia. Partner Dr Trevor Davies reports.

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  • Focus: High Court unanimously finds isolated genetic material not patentable

    8 October 2015

    In the culmination of a hard-fought patent dispute, the High Court of Australia has unanimously ruled that Myriad Genetics' patent claims to isolated nucleic acid coding for the mutant or polymorphic BRCA1 polypeptide are not valid. This overturns the previous decisions at trial and on appeal before the Full Federal Court, and effectively nullifies the long-standing practice that 'isolation' of material from a natural source is sufficient to meet the Australian patentable subject matter threshold. Partner Trevor Davies and Managing Associate Linda Govenlock report.

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  • Client Update: .news domain string opens up new brand-jacking threat

    14 August 2015

    The recently delegated .news domain string has the potential to impact brand owners universally, particularly now that registrations in the .news domain string are open for general availability. With no eligibility requirements and low registration costs, .news has a high risk of infringement at the second level. Partner Tim Golder and Senior Associate Carissa Apps report.

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  • Fact sheet: What's mine is mine - protecting your million-dollar idea

    8 July 2015

    At the core of many successful startups is a simple but brilliant idea.

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  • Client Update: Will .sucks ... suck for your brand?

    5 May 2015

    Despite strong criticism of Vox Populi's pricing scheme as predatory and exploitative, brand owners are paying hefty premiums for early registration in the domain string. With sunrise registration closing on 29 May 2015, you should now be taking the necessary steps to ensure your company can secure a registration during the sunrise period, so that .sucks will not suck for your brand. Partner Tim Golder and Associate Carissa Apps report.

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  • Focus: Update strengthens legal avenues for online copyright rights holders

    24 April 2015

    Telecommunications industry body the Communications Alliance has submitted an updated Copyright Notice Scheme to allow rights holders to better use existing legal avenues to defend their rights. The updated Notice Scheme resolves a number of issues that were left open when the first draft of the Notice Scheme was published in February. Partner Andrew Wiseman and Lawyer Ben Murphy report.

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  • Focus: Website-blocking injunctions to prevent online piracy

    14 April 2015

    In an effort to reduce the rate of online copyright infringement, the Australian Government has introduced a Bill that will allow copyright owners to apply for an injunction requiring internet service providers to take steps to block piracy websites from their users. Senior Associate Jonathan Adamopoulos and Lawyer William Coote report on the features and implications of the Bill.

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  • Focus: Cleaning company franchisor cleaned up by ACCC

    30 March 2015

    The Federal Court has awarded a substantial penalty of $500,000 against a franchisor that had contravened both the Australian Consumer Law and the Franchising Code of Conduct. Partner Andrew Wiseman and Law Graduate Catherine Francis report on the implications of the decision for franchisors.

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  • Focus: Gradual steps towards online copyright infringement reform

    19 March 2015

    Telecommunications industry body the Communications Alliance has released a draft industry code that would introduce a copyright infringement notice scheme for internet service providers. The scheme is an incremental development of existing telecommunications and copyright regulation that seeks to allow rights holders to better use existing legal avenues to defend their rights without fundamentally altering the liability of internet service providers. Partner Andrew Wiseman, Senior Associate Matt Vitins and Lawyer Ben Murphy report.

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  • Client Update: Important clarifications of Australian trade mark registrability

    16 February 2015

    Two recent trade mark cases have widened the field of marks that are potentially registrable in Australia on the basis that those marks are inherently adapted to distinguish. Partner Tim Golder reports.

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  • Unravelled: Fighting to protect Fintech innovations

    3 December 2014

    The growth of financial services technology, or Fintech as it is now called, has exploded in recent years, yet many of its creators don't realise that their innovations are patentable.

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  • Focus: The new look of franchising revealed

    13 November 2014

    Just over six months after the release of the Exposure Draft for the new Franchising Code of Conduct, the new-look Code has been finalised and enacted. Partners Tim Golder and Andrew Wiseman and Lawyer Julia Kovarsky report on the practical implications for franchisors.

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  • Scintilla: Intellectual Property in Review

    12 November 2014

    The Allens IP blog, Scintilla, provides regular insights and analysis on intellectual property law. We have published a selection of blog posts in a handy digest for clients. In this edition, we cover the latest issues in patents, trade marks, copyright, designs and international issues.

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  • Focus: Comply or say bye to your franchise!

    23 October 2014

    With the new Franchising Code of Conduct and civil pecuniary penalties set to commence on 1 January 2015, a recent Full Federal Court decision is a timely warning to franchising parties to ensure their practices comply with the Code. Partner Tim Golder and Associate Nadia Guadagno report on this decision and its significant implications for franchising parties.

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  • Focus: Will Queensland reform its biodiscovery regime?

    14 October 2014

    The Federal Government proposed significant changes to the regulation of biodiscovery earlier this year, when it released a model for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol. Partner Michael Morris and Associate Julieane Bull report on the potential flow-on effects for Queensland's regulatory regime.

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  • Focus: Isolated genetic material confirmed as patentable

    12 September 2014

    In a unanimous decision, the Full Federal Court has confirmed that genetic materials in their isolated form remain patentable in Australia. The decision related to an appeal from an earlier Federal Court decision in which it was found isolated nucleic acids to be a 'manner of manufacture' as required by Australia's patent legislation and therefore patentable subject matter. The latest decision did not deal with policy, social or moral reasons as to whether nucleic acids or genes should be patentable which, as the court noted, has been considered by the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Australian Parliament. Partner Dr Trevor Davies and Associate Dr Tony Shaw provide an overview of the decision and its implications for patentees, patients, the biotechnology industry and the Australian medical research community.

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  • Food Law Bulletin

    5 September 2014

    we look at 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 selfregulate; a Federal Court decision that provides some welcome clarification on the issue of certification trade marks; and an ACCC cartel proceeding that highlights the potential dangers of the relationship between producers and the industry bodies that represent them.

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  • Focus: The ending point for 'starting point'

    1 September 2014

    The Full Federal Court has published its much-anticipated judgment in the AstraZeneca v Apotex appeal. A bench of five judges heard the appeal (in contrast to the usual three judges) in order to be able to clarify, or overrule if appropriate, an earlier Full Court decision relating to the correct test for assessing 'inventive step' - known as the 'starting point' issue. This ruling restores the tighter test for obviousness and should be welcomed by patentees. As Managing Associate Clare Young and Senior Associate Suzy Muller report, the court also provided other useful guidance on infringement of method of medical treatment claims, and on the issue of whether injunctions are always the right remedy for patent infringement.

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  • Client Update: Changes to New Zealand patent law - the deadline approaches

    10 July 2014

    Changes to New Zealand's patent legislation, which come into effect on 13 September 2014, will align it more closely to Australia's patent law. Partners Chris Bird and Trevor Davies advise on the importance of acting quickly before the stricter standards of New Zealand's new patent regime apply.

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  • Scintilla: Intellectual Property in Review

    1 July 2014

    The Allens IP blog, Scintilla, provides regular insights and analysis on intellectual property law. We have published a selection of blog posts in a handy digest for clients. In this edition, we cover the latest issues in patents, trade marks, copyright, designs and international issues.

    Read More
  • Focus: The ramifications of a Facebook rant

    22 May 2014

    The Full Court of the Federal Court recently handed down its decisions on an appeal that highlights the dangers of making unsubstantiated social media comments. Partner Miriam Stiel and Lawyer Tracy Lu report on a long-running dispute where the court found personal Facebook posts constituted misleading or deceptive conduct.

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  • Focus: TGA confirms its approach to disclosure of commercially confidential information

    21 May 2014

    The Therapeutic Goods Administration has released the final version of a document outlining its approach to the disclosure of commercially confidential information, including information provided by medicine sponsors. This follows the release of a draft version in June 2013 and a period of public and industry consultation. Partner Sarah Matheson and Senior Associate Alison Beaumer report.

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  • Focus: Australia releases model for implementing the Nagoya Protocol

    8 May 2014

    The Federal Government has released a model for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol that will have major implications for those who use genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge for biodiscovery. Partner Sarah Matheson and Lawyer Julieane Bull provide an overview of changes proposed by the new model and its implications for research and commercialisation pathways.

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  • Focus: Seeing red over yellow

    5 May 2014

    The difficulty of registering a colour mark or word mark denoting a colour (that include issues of market place recognition) was highlighted by a recent set of appeals revolving around the use of the word 'Yellow' in a tussle between various business directory goods and service providers. Partner Sarah Matheson and Lawyer Tracy Lu report on a decision that provides some useful clarification on this complex issue.

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  • Focus: It's crunch time! Changes to the Franchising Code are nigh

    4 April 2014

    The long-anticipated changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct are scheduled to take effect on 1 January 2015. Partners Tim Golder and Andrew Wiseman and Lawyer Nadia Guadagno report on the significant changes.

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  • Focus: Methods of medical treatment of the human body are patentable

    6 December 2013

    In a significant decision, the High Court has confirmed that methods of medical treatment of the human body are patentable inventions in Australia. Partner Sarah Matheson and Lawyer Lauren John report.

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  • Focus: Innovative step on an unsure footing

    1 October 2013

    The Australian Government's Advisory Council on Intellectual Property is currently accepting submissions to its Review of the Innovation Patent System, in which it is considering making changes to the requirement that a valid innovation patent disclose an innovative step. The outcome of this review could have a significant impact on what constitutes a valid innovation patent, and may cut across a number of cases that have sought to clarify the innovative step requirement for these patents. Partner Sarah Matheson, Senior Associate Tom Reid and Law Graduate Israel Cowen report.

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  • Focus: Green light for Franchising Code reform

    29 July 2013

    Changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct and its enforcement may soon take effect, with the Federal Government accepting most of the recommendations in the recent independent review. Partner Andrew Wiseman and Lawyer Nadia Guadagno report on the some of the significant changes.

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  • Focus: Food

    16 July 2013

    We look at a new voluntary labelling system to give consumers greater information about the nutritional content of food; renewed calls for changes to the country of origin labelling regime; a push to loosen the standard of what can be sold as gluten-free; renewed scrutiny of alcohol advertising; defining the difference between a food and a medicine; and the debate around the safety of GM foods.

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  • Focus: Genomic DNA not patent eligible in the US

    8 July 2013

    A recent US Supreme Court decision has provided some important guidance on the patentability of human genomic material in that country. Partners Sarah Matheson and Dr Trevor Davies, and Law Graduate Israel Cowen report on a ruling that puts the US at odds with most of its trading partners.

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  • Linklaters Insights: China's highest judicial body identifies positive steps in the enforcement and protection of intellectual property rights in China

    4 July 2013

    2012 saw some small, but positive, steps in the area of intellectual property enforcement within China, according to the recently released 2012 annual report of China's Supreme People's Court.

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  • Focus: Recommending change to the Franchising Code

    26 June 2013

    The recent independent review has recommended some important changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct. Partner Andrew Wiseman and Lawyer Nadia Guadagno report on some of the significant recommendations to the Code and its enforcement.

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  • Focus: Aggressive regulation of consumer goods - is 'junk food' next?

    6 June 2013

    Governments and public health experts throughout Australia are turning their attention to the health impacts of excessive consumption of 'junk food'. Although the industry is currently subject to reasonably limited regulation, recent events both here and overseas suggest that the status quo may be under threat. Partner Peter O'Donahoo, Senior Associates Susie Stone and Tim Maxwell and Lawyer Mark Hosking report.

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  • Focus: Full Court clarifies online content delivery

    28 March 2013

    A unanimous decision of the Full Federal Court means that online simulcasts of radio programs are not 'broadcasts', meaning traditional radio broadcasters will need to obtain separate licences from, and pay additional royalties to, copyright owners to transmit radio programs on the internet. Partners Ian McGill and Miriam Stiel and Senior Associate Nathan Shepherd report on the case and its ramifications.

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  • Client Update: New generic Top Level Domains to go live shortly - be prepared!

    15 March 2013

    The first of the new generic Top-Level Domain extensions will soon go live, and now is the time for brand owners to implement their brand protection strategies. There have been almost 2000 applications for new TLDs and it is expected that hundreds of new TLD registries will be open by the end of the year. Partner Tim Golder and Senior Associate Mark Williams explain why it is of paramount importance that brand owners take steps to ensure the protection of their brands at the second level of the new domains and what those steps should be.

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  • Focus: Federal Court win for gene patents, their creators and patients

    27 February 2013

    In a landmark decision that resolves the long-standing debate as to whether genes and their biological products warrant patent protection, the Australian Federal Court has found that isolated DNA and RNA are patentable subject matter. Partners Sarah Matheson and Dr Trevor Davies and Lawyer Yan-Lin Lee report.

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