Archive: November 2016

1
The Australian Patent Office Once Again Allows Claims Directed to Nucleic Acids
2
Use it or Lose it – Exercising ‘Control’ Over use of a Trade Mark
3
Fashion Law Newsletter – Spring/Summer 2016 Edition
4
Review of Australia’s Gene Technology Regulations: An Opportunity to Strengthen Australia’s Biotechnology Industry
5
Proposed Australian-New Zealand Single-Desk Patent System Abandoned
6
Jelly-sy – A Warning to e-Commerce Retailers About the Risks of Infringing Copyright
7
Trademark Law Update: SCOTUS to Decide Whether Ban on Registering “Disparaging Marks” Is Unconstitutional
8
Bring It On!
9
New DMCA Safe Harbor Copyright Agent Requirements for Online Service Providers

The Australian Patent Office Once Again Allows Claims Directed to Nucleic Acids

In Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation v BASF Plant Sciences GmbH [2016] APO 83, the Australian Patent Office has once again confirmed that nucleic acids are patentable in Australia.[1]

The opposed application relates to methods of producing polyunsaturated fatty acids in the seeds of transgenic plants. The application included claims directed to a recombinant nucleic acid molecule comprising nucleic acid sequences coding for a polypeptide with Δ6-desaturase activity, a polypeptide with Δ5-desaturase activity, a polypeptide with Δ6-elongase activity and a polypeptide with Δ5-elongase activity, as well as one or more copies of a promoter and a terminator.

Read More

Use it or Lose it – Exercising ‘Control’ Over use of a Trade Mark

A unanimous appeal judgment handed down by the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia earlier this year, signals the importance of trade mark owners exercising “control” over use of their trade mark by licensees, or risk cancellation of the trade mark for non-use.

It is very common for the trade mark owner not to be the actual user of the trade mark. Related parties within the same corporate group may have different functions of ownership or use, or local distributors/licensees may be appointed to use a trade mark owned by a foreign brand owner.

Read More

Fashion Law Newsletter – Spring/Summer 2016 Edition

Fashion has always been a repetition of ideas, but what makes it new is the way you put it together.” – Carolina Herrera

Welcome to the latest edition of Fashion Law, this edition touches on issues that demonstrate the impact of world events and technological changes on all businesses.

Fashion Law gives you the latest updates on legal issues affecting the fashion industry.

Please click here to read the Spring/Summer 2016 edition of Fashion Law.

Contact: Lisa Egan

Review of Australia’s Gene Technology Regulations: An Opportunity to Strengthen Australia’s Biotechnology Industry

As Australia faces the challenges that come with the end of the resources boom and a shift away from many traditional manufacturing industries, the biotechnology industry represents an important opportunity for economic growth. With an increase in the demand for biotech products comes the potential for Australia’s biotechnology sector to offer substantial growth and investment opportunities if supported by the right policy settings. It was recently reported that the sector is expected to grow at a rate of 4.4% a year until 2021, bringing AUD8,675M of revenue to industry.[1]

Further, last year alone, more than 630 biotechnology patent applications including claims referring to “nucleic acids” were filed with the Australian Patents Office – many claiming subject matter that no doubt will test the boundaries of what constitutes patentable subject matter.[2]

In an industry that has undergone rapid technological advancement since the Regulator last conducted a technical review (which resulted in amendments being made to the Gene Technology Regulations 2001 (Gene Technology Regulations) in 2011), it is timely that the Australian Gene Technology Regulator (Regulator) has initiated a technical review of the Gene Technology Regulations.

Read More

Proposed Australian-New Zealand Single-Desk Patent System Abandoned

The proposed single application (SAP) and examination (SEP) processes for Australia and New Zealand have recently been abandoned, more than five years after they were first introduced. The SAP and SEP would have allowed applicants wishing to obtain patents in both countries to file a common application that would be examined by a single examiner at either IP Australia or IPONZ. Once accepted under each country’s law, two separate patents would be granted. Patent examiners would have had to learn to apply the laws of the other country.

Read More

Jelly-sy – A Warning to e-Commerce Retailers About the Risks of Infringing Copyright

It seems only fitting that with “Schoolies Week”[1] around the corner, the Federal Circuit Court has delivered judgment in the matter of Weller & Anor v Smith [2016] FCCA 2827 which relates to intellectual property rights and commercial reputations in the jelly wrestling products industry.

The matter relates to a dispute between the partnership of John Weller and Jake Weller trading as “Crazy Town Parties” and Ian Smith.

The Wellers trade in the party supply and party hire industry. One aspect of their business is the sale of a range of products, including a substance sold in crystalline form, that are used for jelly wrestling. The Wellers utilise a number of photos for marketing purpose in both digital and hardcopy formats including on the packaging of their jelly wrestling products.

Read More

Trademark Law Update: SCOTUS to Decide Whether Ban on Registering “Disparaging Marks” Is Unconstitutional

Under section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, the Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may refuse to register any trademark that “[c]onsists of . . . matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrepute.” This spring, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide in Lee v. Tam whether this provision of the Lanham Act is facially invalid under the First Amendment. Here’s what you need to know about this important case.

Please click here to view the full alert.

By: Joanna Diakos and Thomas W. Dollar

Bring It On!

On 31 October 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the ongoing dispute between Star Athletica LLC and Varsity Brands Inc, two major designers and manufacturers of cheerleading uniforms. In what could be considered a bizarre mash up of early 2000s films “Bring it On!” and “Legally Blonde”, the two companies are involved in a stoush as to whether or not the two-dimensional designs of coloured stripes and zig-zags that are applied to cheerleading uniforms can be protected under US copyright law. My U.S. colleagues John Cotter and Shamus Hyland previously discussed the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in this matter here.

It will come as no surprise to readers that U.S. and Australian laws differ in many respects and this is particularly the case when it comes to copyright and designs laws.

In Australia, fashion designers may have recourse to the Designs Act 2003 (Cth) and/or the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) depending on whether or not they are looking to protect two-dimensional (prints, images etc.) or three-dimensional (cut, shape, fit etc.) designs and how they intend to exploit the designs.

Read More

New DMCA Safe Harbor Copyright Agent Requirements for Online Service Providers

On October 31, 2016, the U.S. Copyright Office issued a new rule instituting an electronic system for the designation of copyright agents, which is required to take advantage of the safe harbor from copyright infringement for online service providers under 17 U.S.C. § 512(c). [1] For purposes of § 512, any entity that provides an online service (such as a website, email service, discussion forum, or chat room) generally would qualify as an online service provider. [2] A copyright agent is typically the individual at the online service provider for which contact information is provided in order to receive the various notices provided under § 512.

Under the new system, which takes effect on December 1, 2016, all online service providers seeking safe harbor under § 512(c), including those that have previously designated an agent with the Copyright Office, are required to submit designations through the electronic system. Entities that previously designated a copyright agent via the paper system must submit a new designation through the electronic system by December 31, 2017. Failure to do so will negate the safe harbor from copyright infringement liability established by § 512(c). Designations also must be renewed at least once every three years. (The current paper-based system does not require renewal.) The fee for registration and subsequent renewal(s) is set at US$6 per designation.

Read More

Copyright © 2019, K&L Gates LLP. All Rights Reserved.