vLex Australia

  • Are IP Australia costs awards set to finally reflect costs incurred? Proposed changes to trade mark hearing cost awards

    In December 2019, after much anticipation, IP Australia released a draft of proposed amendments to the costs that may be awarded in relation to trade marks proceedings heard before IP Australia. IP Australia comments that these changes should ensure awards more accurately reflect the actual costs incurred by parties and are based on Federal Court... (See Article)

    Jan 17, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Banking, Finance and Insurance Modern Award changes - What you need to know and do to remain compliant

    The recent changes to the Banking, Finance and Insurance Modern Award (BFIA) follow a Fair Work Commission decision of 4 July 2019. (See Article)

    Jan 16, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Insurance and Economic Costs of Australia’s Bushfires

    The High Risk of Bushfires in Australia - Since November 2019, sweeping bushfires have been ravaging Australia’s coastlines in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Southern Australia. Relief from the catastrophic fires is likely not imminent, as summer temperatures in Australia peak in January and February, increasing the risk of heatwaves, droughts, and bushfires. News reports state that, by early January 2020, land the size of South Korea (about 10 million hectares or 100,000 km²) had been consumed by the fires, affecting approximately a third of the country’s population. (See Article)

    Jan 15, 2020 7:32 AM

  • The Importance of Revising Building Laws and Ordinances, Which Explains Why Law and Ordinance Coverage Law is So Important To Purchase

    The point of this blog is to implore policyholders to buy what is commonly called code upgrade coverage – formally known as law and ordinance coverage. I was thinking about this after reading two different articles discussing very different losses in very different parts of the world. Australia has been suffering from historic wildfires. I... (See Article)

    Jan 14, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Significant Visa Fee Increases for Australian Nationals

    U.S. firefighters coming to help extinguish the devastating forest fires were cheered when they arrived at the airport in Sydney, Australia. In the past, in what became a reciprocal arrangement, Australian firefighters have assisted U.S. firefighters. A different sort of reciprocity has led to the sudden increase in visa fees for Australians coming to the... (See Article)

    Jan 14, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Class action settlement: Health information sale to law firm

    In mid December 2019, Australian Lawyer reported: The Supreme Court of New South Wales on Monday accepted the settlement of a pioneering class action in Australia. Justice Julie Ward accepted the $275,000 settlement in the class action led by Tracy Evans against the NSW Ambulance Service over a major data breach. The lawsuit is the... (See Article)

    Jan 14, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Court Gives Effect to Strata Renewal Plan

    WHAT HAS HAPPENED? The NSW Land & Environment Court (Court) has handed down the first decision to give effect to a strata renewal plan (SRP) for the collective sale of a strata scheme under the strata renewal provisions of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 (NSW) (the Act). (See Article)

    Jan 14, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Australian Government delays implementation of Open Banking after facing practical issues with the new Consumer Data Right

    Introduction to Open Banking - In 2019, the Australian Government passed new laws to provide new rights for consumers and small businesses to their data from July 2019. We summarised the background on the new laws in our alert on 14 December 2018: Australian Consumer Data Right law: what you need to know and we explained their impact in our alert on 8 August 2019: Australian Government passes Consumer Data Right legislation on 1 August 2019. (See Article)

    Jan 14, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Foreign direct investment reviews 2019: A global perspective: Australia

    Australia requires a wide variety of investments by foreign businesses to be reviewed and approved before completion. The decision to approve or deny a foreign investment application is ultimately made by the Treasurer of Australia, based on an assessment of whether the investment would be contrary to the national interest. When making its decision, the Treasurer is advised by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), which examines foreign investment proposals and advises on the national interest implications. Australia's foreign investment policy framework comprises the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 ("the Act"), the Act's related regulations, Australia's Foreign Investment Policy ("the Policy") and a number of guidance notes. (See Article)

    Jan 13, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Complaint risk among mental health practitioners compared with physical health practitioners.

    Recently published in BMJ Open was a paper by Benjamin Veness and others, entitled Complaint risk among mental health practitioners compared with physical health practitioners: a retrospective cohort study of complaints to health regulators in Australia. The paper sought to understand complaint risk among mental health practitioners compared with physical health practitioners by means of... (See Article)

    Jan 10, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Australian Salmonella outbreak grows; bush fires threaten food safety

    Nearly 90 people are part of a Salmonella outbreak across Australia after eating a particular brand of frozen microwave meals. A total of 84 people in New South Wales (NSW), Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) reported eating Core Powerfoods products before becoming sick. The number of people ill in... (See Article)

    Jan 9, 2020 7:33 AM

  • Do you employ administrative staff? Be aware of the Clerks–Private Sector Award changes

    Employment Law Update - On 4 July 2019, the Fair Work Commission announced changes to the annualised salaries provision of the Clerks–Private Sector Award 2010 (Clerks Award) which has the potential to impact hundreds of thousands of clerical workers across numerous industries. (See Article)

    Jan 9, 2020 7:32 AM

  • Man Overboard From Norwegian Jewel

    A cruise passenger reportedly went overboard from a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, according to several newspapers. The Norwegian Jewel was on a 12-day Australia-New Zealand cruise when the passenger went overboard near the east coast off the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. The man went overboard around 7:00 P.M on Sunday (New Zealand time). The NCL... (See Article)

    Dec 30, 2019 7:33 AM

  • Australian agencies’ post advice to help prevent food poisoning

    Public health agencies in Australia have issued advice to help people avoid food poisoning this holiday season. The country is in it’s summer months now and has also been affected by bushfires and record high temperatures of 41.9 degrees C (107.4 degrees F) this past week. In New South Wales (NSW), 168 Salmonella infections have... (See Article)

    Dec 24, 2019 7:33 AM

  • Sydney Desalination Project Boosts Fish Life

    Desalination will be essential to meet the water needs of many areas around the world as an alternative to overextended or depleted fresh water sources. (See Article)

    Dec 20, 2019 7:32 PM

  • Australia proposes robust new foreign bribery laws

    On Monday 2 December, the Australian Government introduced into the Senate the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2019 (Cth) (“Foreign Bribery Bill”). This Bill proposes to fundamentally shift the criminal liability landscape for corporations with respect to foreign bribery. The Bill follows on from the Australian Government’s introduction of the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Combatting Corporate Crime) Bill 2017 (Cth) (the “2017 Bill”) two years ago, which had been allowed to lapse at the end of the previous Parliamentary session, ahead of the 2019 Australian federal election. Please see full article below for more information. (See Article)

    Dec 18, 2019 7:32 PM

  • Queensland egg sector strengthens Salmonella plan

    The Queensland egg industry has strengthened its biosecurity, hygiene and product quality processes to minimize the risk of Salmonella Enteritidis. Safe Food Production Queensland (Safe Food) and the Queensland, Australia, egg industry developed a new Salmonella Enteritidis Prevention Plan (SEPP). Safe Food regulates the primary production and processing of meat, eggs, dairy, seafood and horticulture... (See Article)

    Dec 18, 2019 7:33 AM

  • Abstract Ideas and ‘Software Patents’ – Two Sides to the Story

    I recently wrote about the decision of the Federal Court of Australia in Repipe Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Patents[2019] FCA 1956, in which two innovation patents owned by RePipe were found to be invalid, and thus liable to be revoked, on the ground that neither was for a patent-eligible ‘manner of manufacture’ under Australian... (See Article)

    Dec 17, 2019 7:33 AM

  • Transformation of the Australian Patent Attorney Profession Turns Ugly with Firms Fighting in Federal Court

    A dispute between the firm of Pizzeys Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys – owned by listed entity IPH Limited (ASX:IPH) – and a firm established by two former Pizzeys principals, has gained public exposure through a decision of Justice Jagot in the Federal Court of Australia: Pizzeys Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys Pty Limited v... (See Article)

    Dec 16, 2019 7:33 AM

  • Establishing A Business Entity In Australia (Updated)

    1. Types of business entities - 1.1 Types of entities available through which to conduct business - The following entities are recognized as business structures to conduct business under Australian law: Sole trader - A sole trader is the simplest form available as a business structure where an individual trades under their own name or under a registered business name. It is easy to set up as there are few legal and tax formalities required. The business name is easily registered for a minimal fee. A sole trader does not need a separate Tax File Number (TFN) or business bank account, unlike a public or private company.... Please see full Chapter below for more information. (See Article)

    Dec 9, 2019 5:32 PM

  • Victoria Legislates Workplace Manslaughter

    WHAT IS HAPPENING? The State of Victoria has become the latest Australian jurisdiction to make 'Workplace Manslaughter' a criminal offence, with significant penalties and potential imprisonment for individuals guilty of the offence. (See Article)

    Dec 9, 2019 3:32 PM

  • Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ Vasco da Gama Loses Power Off Coast of Australia

    A radio program in Sydney, Australia, the Alan Jones radio show, is reporting that Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ Vasco Da Gama (formerly the P&O Pacific Eden) lost power to its engines in the Gulf of St. Vincent off Adelaide, Australia earlier today. The radio station 2GB’s Steve Price spoke to passengers onboard, who reportedly said: Approximately... (See Article)

    Dec 9, 2019 7:33 AM

  • Repipe Rebuffed in Appeal Against Rejection of Patent on Computer-Implemented Invention for Workplace Safety

    In a decision issued on 22 November 2019 (Repipe Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Patents[2019] FCA 1956), Justice McKerracher in the Federal Court of Australia has found two innovation patents owned by RePipe Pty Ltd to be invalid, and thus liable to be revoked, on the ground that neither was for a patent-eligible ‘manner of... (See Article)

    Dec 9, 2019 7:33 AM

  • Doing Business in Australia

    Our comprehensive Guide to Doing Business in Australia, developed from the experience of our lawyers across our four key markets in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, explores the many legal and regulatory factors to consider when entering or working in the market Down Under. Please see full publication below for more information. (See Article)

    Dec 5, 2019 7:32 PM

  • Industrial manslaughter progresses in the Northern Territory and Western Australia

    Following our recent updates regarding the introduction of workplace manslaughter laws in Victoria (see our blog article here) and proposed legislative changes in New South Wales (see our blog article here), there have now been further developments, with industrial manslaughter laws being passed in the Northern Territory (NT) and proposed in Western Australia as part... (See Article)

    Dec 4, 2019 7:33 AM

  • Protecting Your Corporate Keys

    In an era of online banks and ASIC Corporate Keys, the management of access to your company's digital platforms, which are often critical to your operations, is an essential element of good governance practices. (See Article)

    Dec 4, 2019 7:32 AM

  • What Is a Director to Do About "Culture"?

    The Situation: Directors and executives are largely responsible for the culture of companies, and regulators are seeking to hold them accountable for misconduct that can be traced to poor culture. The Key Message: Culture can and should be assessed on a regular basis. In meeting their duties, directors should consider whether they need to have in place tools and systems that enable them to assess and monitor culture. This is not just a compliance step required in order to meet legal obligations; a strong culture is an opportunity to create sustainable high performance and returns. (See Article)

    Dec 3, 2019 7:32 AM

  • Don’t be so reckless – Employer convicted in first successful safety prosecution for bullying under the harmonised WHS Act

    Safe Work Australia has recently revealed that the number of serious workplace injuries related to bullying and harassment has nearly doubled in Australia since 2009.  Mental health-related  claims that involve workplace harassment or bullying are skyrocketing, with about a quarter of all psychological claims based on allegations of workplace harassment or bullying.  In the 2019/20... (See Article)

    Dec 2, 2019 7:33 AM

  • Westpac Banking Corporation Faces Money Laundering Scandal in the Land Down Under

    Bank Accused of Being Asleep at the AML-CTF Switch On November 20, 2019, AUSTRAC, Australia’s anti money-laundering (“AML”) and counter-terrorism financing (“CTF”) regulator, initiated an action in the Federal Court of Australia seeking civil penalty orders against Westpac Banking Corporation (“Westpac”), Australia’s second largest retail bank, alleging systemic failures to comply with Australia’s AML-CTF laws.  Specifically,... (See Article)

    Dec 2, 2019 7:33 AM

  • Authorised use or something fishy? – Implications for trade mark ‘use’ in Australia in the inter-company context

    Trade mark licensing arrangements can often offer significant benefits for trade mark owners by increasing brand exposure and royalty revenue streams. However, as we have previously reported, recent Australian cases (such as Lodestar Anstalt v Campari America LLC [2016] FCAFC 92 (Lodestar)) demonstrated that licensing arrangements may expose trade mark owners to the risk of... (See Article)

    Nov 29, 2019 7:33 AM