Cryptocurrencies: What does the taxman think of your Bitcoin?

By Anthony Watson, Partner and James Lawrence, Partner  Bitcoin has been heralded as the ultimate digital payment technology: decentralised, immutable and free from the restraints of existing financial services structures. Other cryptocurrencies possess similar attributes. This relatively new technology presents fascinating legal challenges on numerous fronts. But how does the Australian Taxation Office treat cryptocurrency
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Patent damages counter-factual analysis: Bayer V Generic Health [2017] FCA 250

James Lawrence, Partner and Leonora Tyers, Associate[1] Background Bayer AG and Bayer Australia Ltd (together, Bayer) are the patentee and exclusive licensee respectively of Australian Patent No 780330 (Patent) pursuant to which they have manufactured and sold in Australia for over 15 years an oral contraceptive (OC) product known as “Yasmin”. Yasmin contains a combination
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Voluntary Euthanasia in New South Wales: Draft legislation to be considered in 2017

Prompted by the draft Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 (NSW), New South Wales is preparing to tackle growing community demands for end-of-life legislation in the coming months. Partner, Dr Teresa Nicoletti and Paralegal, Helaena Short discuss. A draft of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 (NSW) (Bill) was recently released for public consultation by a
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Dr Teresa Nicoletti named Health Partner of the Year

Mills Oakley partner Dr Teresa Nicoletti has been named Health Partner of the Year at the 2017 Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards, held in Sydney last Friday. To read more, click here.

Hemp-based foods to be legalised in Australia

Ministers have approved a decision by the food regulator to permit the sale in Australia of foods made from low-THC hemp seeds and hemp seed oil – however, other legal hurdles remain. Partner, Dr Teresa Nicoletti and Lawyer, Sebastian Tonkin discuss. The Australian and New Zealand ministers responsible for food regulation have approved a recommendation
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Hope for Hemp Industry Stakeholders – final decision on the scheduling of cannabis deferred

Fervent advocacy by Mills Oakley partner, Dr Teresa Nicoletti, has stalled a final decision on the scheduling of cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinols, to allow more careful consideration and consultation. Partner, Dr Teresa Nicoletti; Lawyer, Sebastian Tonkin and Paralegal, Helaena Short discuss. A notice published on the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website yesterday announced that the Secretary
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Access to medicinal cannabis – how terminally ill patients are missing out

Terminally ill patients continue to be denied access to essential medicines despite positive developments in the medicinal cannabis framework in Australia. Partner, Dr Teresa Nicoletti and Paralegal, Helaena Short discuss. Bold claims have been made in the Daily Telegraph this morning that terminally ill patients will be given the “green light” to access medicinal cannabis
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The Fees They Are A-Changin’, IP Australia’s official fees are changing from October 2016

By Stephanie Rowland, Partner and Amanda Wong, Associate IP Australia’s official fees for trade marks, patents, designs and plant breeders’ rights are changing from 10 October 2016. The Intellectual Property Legislation Amendment (Fee Review) Regulation 2016 has been signed by the Governor General and amends the existing trade mark, patent, design and plant breeders’ rights
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Pacific Ale storm brews in the Federal Court, lessons for your brand protection strategy

By Stephanie Rowland, Partner and Amanda Wong, Associate. Last month the Federal Court dismissed claims bought by Stone & Wood brewery against Thunder Road Brewing’s ‘Pacific Ale’ for misleading and deceptive conduct and false and misleading representations contrary to the Australian Consumer Law, passing off and trade mark infringement.[1] What happened? The Stone & Wood
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Red Hot: Protecting Your Name In The Property Game

By Noelene Treloar, Special Counsel, and Catherine Marino, Senior Associate It is a frightening realisation for property developers and managers that they may not be able to prevent unauthorised third parties from using the name of their developments. In particular, where the name is descriptive or incorporates a geographical location it could be difficult to restrict use
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High Court rules that isolating genes cannot be patented

The High Court today overturned the rulings of lower courts in D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc [2015] HCA 35, determining that the breast cancer gene BRCA-1 cannot be patented.  The High Court ruled that merely isolating naturally occurring genes in the artificial environment of a laboratory is not an invention as it is not a
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Intellectual Property Arrangements – Public Inquiry

On 18 August 2015, the Productivity Commission was asked by the Australian Government to undertake a 12 month public inquiry into Australia’s intellectual property system.  The Commission has been asked to consider whether current arrangements provide an appropriate balance between access to ideas and products, and encouraging innovation, investment and the production of creative works.
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A gain for IP owners in the new Food and Grocery Code

Food suppliers regularly make considerable investments in developing and protecting their brands, packaging and advertising.  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a retailer to offer a private label with branding and packaging identical or similar to the original product. The introduction of the Food and Grocery Industry Code of Conduct (Code) recognises the importance of
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Trade Marks You Cannot Have

By Scott Coulthart As children, most of us were told there were certain words we just shouldn’t use — and some of us then weren’t told which words they were, just in case we hadn’t heard them before. This proved to be supremely unhelpful.. The good folks in Florida (USA) right now probably consider the
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Not so Blurred Lines

By Genevieve Yates Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams’ hit song Blurred Lines has attracted a lot of attention since its release in 2013. From condemnation for its promotion of “a very worrying attitude towards sex and consent” (article here) to its use as a controversial feminist mouthpiece (article here), Thicke and Pharrell have sparked international
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Naked Broadband Ads Catch iiNet with Pants Down

By Scott Coulthart The ACCC announced on 3 March 2015 that it had issued penalties of $204,000 to iiNet for failing to display its total minimum price for its Naked Broadband 250GB product prominently enough. The ACCC contended that the Australian Consumer Law requires that the total product price not only be displayed, but that
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Copyright Cat-Burglary

By Scott Coulthart It seems that even pets can engage in breaches of copyright. Recently, as reported in this news article, EMI claimed copyright breach by the owner of a YouTube account when a one-hour long video of the owner’s cat purring was uploaded. YouTube uses an automated copyright checking system which tries to match
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Clearing the Clouds

Special Counsel in our Brisbane office, Scott Coulthart, in his role as a member of the Qld Law Society’s Technology and Intellectual Property Subcommittee (TIPS), is spearheading the development by TIPS of proposed guidelines for the legal profession in Queensland for the use of cloud in their legal practice. Many firms, including ours, have used
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Business names and Trademarks – What you need to know

By Scott Coulthart In this article, Scott Coulthart clears up a few myths about business names and summarises some of the differences between business names and trade marks. Do I Own My Business Name? You have put a lot of time and effort into your business, even before it opened its doors. Usually, a significant
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Is your TV a covert spy?

By Scott Coulthart Recently, Samsung has warned its customers to be careful about what they say in front of their TV if they have it in voice recognition mode. Samsung sells a smart TV set with a voice recognition feature which “hears” the words spoken around it and can interpret those as commands. According to
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Old Ox Fights Red Bull

By Scott Coulthart In the news recently it was reported that Red Bull has filed a dispute with the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to prevent the Old Ox Brewery from registering a trademark of its name. Red Bull says that because the name “Old Ox” refers to the same class of bovine animals,
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Trade Marks

A registered trade mark is a business asset and a powerful tool to protect your brand against unauthorised use. Trade marks can be in the form of a name, a sign, words, logos, aspects of packaging, scents, colors, shapes or any combinations of these elements. An effective trade mark should distinguish your goods and/or services
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Copyright and the Digital Economy

Introduction An issues paper was released by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) on 20 August 2012 about Copyright and the Digital Economy (Issues Paper).  In summary, the objective of the Issues Paper is to form a basis for consultation and to seek public submissions, responding to 55 questions raised by the ALRC, as to
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Social Media and IP

Social Media is the buzz word in marketing circles, but the reality is that many clients don’t understand what it is and how it affects them. As an IP lawyer, I have seen a steady increase in the number of clients needing advice on how to deal with Social Media. Interestingly, many are coming to
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