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
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
In part 1 of this series (here), we considered the welcome introduction of a 12 month grace period that came into effect as of 10 March 2022. The grace period protects a design owner against inadvertent disclosure of a design before an application for protection of the design is filed – previously, this was fatal to having enforceable design rights. In part 2, we delve into the prior use infringement exemption that concurrently came into effect to mitigate the commercial risks that might arise as a result of the grace period.Read More
In July 2021, Australia was thrust into the spotlight as a favourable country to patent AI-created inventions as a result of the Australian Federal Court’s decision in Thaler v Commissioner of Patents  FCA 879 – see our previous coverage here.
At first instance, the Court construed “inventor” as including “a person or thing that invents”.1 The decision was an appeal from a Patent Office hearing where the Office rejected a patent application in the name of Stephen L. Thaler as the creator of the “inventor”, AI system (Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience (DABUS)). As DABUS had autonomously generated the invention, for the purposes of the patent application Dr Thaler derived title to the invention from DABUS.Read More
Protecting the visual appearance of a product, or its packaging, should be a key consideration in any comprehensive IP protection strategy. We have previously written about amendments to the Australian Designs Act 2003 (Cth) (here and here). All changes to the Designs Act have now come into force as of 10 March 2022. In this first of a series of articles, we delve deeper into amendments that introduce the long awaited grace period.Read More
The scorecard against computer implemented inventions being patentable in Australia took another hit this week when the Federal Court revoked two innovation patents from global fitness giant, F45 in F45 Training Pty Ltd v Body Fit Training Company Pty Ltd (No 2)  FCA 96. Justice Nicholas of the Federal Court held that F45’s innovation patents, which involved a computer implemented system for configuring and operating one or more fitness studios, were invalid and even if they were valid, rival fitness franchise Body Fit Training did not infringe them.Read More
The Australian Government has announced the purchase of copyright in the Australian Aboriginal Flag, ending several years of controversy and uncertainty and guaranteeing the ability of First Nations peoples to freely use the flag to express their identity.Read More