Virtual products, the metaverse, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have recently been expanding and receiving considerable attention from investors, the general public; as well as the art world. Within the span of a year, NFT-backed virtual works of art have been reaching new height, from Beeple, Everydays: The First 5000 Days (March 2021 – US$69.3 million) to The Merge (December 2021 – US$91.8 million). Today, the most valuable living artist in history is a virtual work of art author (Pak, author of The Merge).Read More
The High Court has issued its eagerly awaited decision in Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Patents  HCA 29 (Aristocrat). Six High Court Justices presided over the appeal from the Full Federal Court of Australia (Full Court Decision), which we wrote about in November 2021. The High Court was split 3-3, meaning the appeal was dismissed and Aristocrat’s patent application will not proceed to grant.
The split decision leaves the question of the patentability of computer implemented inventions (CIIs) somewhat unresolved in Australia.Read More
Considering the UK’s rich history of literature, it may be somewhat surprising to know that there was very little case law discussing whether copyright might subsist in a fictional character. However, on 8 June 2022, the UK courts finally tackled whether a fictional character can be protected under copyright law in Shazam Productions Ltd v Only Fools The Dining Experience Ltd & Ors  EWHC 1379 (IPEC).Read More
The rule against double recovery, which operates to ensure plaintiffs are not compensated twice in respect of the same loss, is well-known and generally arises for judicial consideration where there are joint and several tortfeasors. The recent decision of Look Design and Development Pty Ltd v Edge Developments Pty Ltd & Flaton  QDC 116 by Judge Long SC of the District Court of Queensland considered the rule against double recovery in the context of separate proceedings against different defendants. This case confirms that where damages for copyright infringement are compensatory, the fact that a plaintiff has already received an amount of damages from one infringer will serve to reduce the damages payable by the other.Read More
Misleading renewal notices to trademark owners continue to cause confusion and, in some cases, unnecessary fees paid to fraudulent schemers that do not result in renewal of a trademark registration. Recently, a Latvian citizen was sentenced to more than four years in U.S. prison and fined over US$4.5 million in restitution, after he pleaded guilty to a three-year scheme that defrauded thousands of U.S. trademark owners of over US$1.2 million.Read More
On 21 June 2022, the United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO) issued interim guidance on how the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) should exercise its discretion when determining whether to institute a post-grant proceeding.Read More
NFTs have gone mainstream. But what are NFTs? Should your business develop its own NFT? How are they regulated? In The NFT Collection series of alerts, we will delve into these questions to help your business understand this new technology.Read More
The issue of contributory infringement of a patent under the Australian Patents Act 1990 (Act) does not often arise for consideration by the Australian judicial system. When it does arise, the question of whether or not the product supplied is a ‘staple commercial product’ under the relevant provisions of the Act is always of particular interest.
In only a few cases has the impugned product been held to be a staple commercial product, and so any case that expands upon that product class is a particularly valuable aid. It is therefore of interest that the Full Court of the Australian Federal Court has recently considered contributory infringement in Hood v Down Under Enterprises International Pty Limited  FCAFC 69.Read More