JD Supra Australia
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- ACCC Brings Resale Price Maintenance Enforcement Action
A new ACCC resale price maintenance case provides a timely reminder that manufacturers and suppliers must tread carefully with distribution arrangements related to price in Australia. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ("ACCC") has commenced proceedings against FE Sports, alleging it engaged in Resale Price Maintenance ("RPM"). The ACCC is seeking injunctions, penalties, a compliance program and costs...
- Essential commercial leasing update: Extension of COVID-19 Emergency Response protections for South Australian commercial lessees
The COVID-19 Emergency Response (Commercial Leases No.2) Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) in South Australia have recently been extended to apply for an additional period commencing on 1 October 2020 and expiring on 3 January 2021.
- Prohibition on Advertising Below the RRP Amounts to Illegal Resale Price Maintenance, ACCC Alleges
In Brief - The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has commenced proceedings against cycling wholesaler B & K Holdings (QLD) Pty Ltd, trading as FE Sports (FE Sports), alleging that it engaged in resale price maintenance (RPM).
- Financial Law Insight
In September 2020, the FMA released its Supervision Insights report. The report provides key findings arising from the FMA’s monitoring activity and provides examples and expectations for monitored entities. The FMA’s review was designed to identify deficiencies and breaches, rather than highlight good practices – and accordingly the report focuses on adverse findings. The report notes that while a large part of the industry is working hard to move towards the regulator’s expectations, problem areas remain – mostly as a result of a casual or careless approach to conduct and compliance.
- New Insolvency Processes for Small Australian Businesses
During the better part of 2020, the federal government has injected an unprecedented level of stimulus into the Australian economy in an attempt to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. As a result, despite a significant contraction in the Australian economy, roughly half as many Australian companies are entering insolvency processes today compared with the same time last year. As that stimulus is wound back, it seems inevitable that the number of insolvencies will rise. In an attempt to address the anticipated rise in insolvencies, the federal government has announced a number of reforms intended to assist small businesses to restructure and has released draft legislation for comment. The focus of the reforms appears to be on ensuring that businesses and jobs survive, potentially at the cost of unsecured creditors and suppliers. The federal government has provided very limited detail regarding the reforms, and the information that has been provided raises many questions and issues, relating both to how the reforms will work and whether they will have the intended effect. In this White Paper, we summarize the proposed reforms, some of the key issues and questions arising, and the likely impact on creditors. Please see full White Paper below for more information.
- Australia’s approach to artificial intelligence and intellectual property - lessons from WIPO’s Conversation on IP and AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of a computer to perform tasks in a way that simulates human intelligence – that is, to mimic the way humans would act, reason, learn or problem-solve. There is no universal definition of artificial intelligence. Generally, it is focused on developing machines and systems that can carry out tasks considered to require human intelligence. Two subsets of AI are “machine learning” and “deep learning” and, with the development of new neural network techniques and hardware, AI is often a synonym for “deep supervised machine learning”.
- The Future Direction of Corporate Criminal Responsibility in Australia
On 31 August 2020, the Australian Law Reform Commission's Final Report on Corporate Criminal Responsibility was tabled in Parliament. The Final Report makes significant recommendations for reform of corporate criminal responsibility in Australia, including reforms limiting the use of the criminal law as a regulatory tool, clarifying criminal attribution methods, enhancing sentencing powers and procedures for corporate offenders, expanding the liability of directors and senior managers for corporate wrongdoing and creating new offences for failure to prevent certain transnational crimes. The Final Report is published at a time of increased focus on corporate wrongdoing in Australia, reflected in recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, as well as recent legislation to reform the law of foreign bribery and allow corporations to enter into deferred prosecution agreements. This White Paper outlines these recent developments as well as the key recommendations of the ALRC, considering the future of corporate criminal responsibility in Australia, which will be a continued area of focus for Australian legislators and regulators in the coming years. Please see full White Paper below for more information.
- Responsible Lending Laws Regarded as 'Unsuitable'
In a year of epic events, it is difficult to see how any financial services reforms could be seen as truly significant. The removal of consumer responsible lending laws, though is significant, at least in relative terms.
- IP Considerations For Businesses Operating Online – An Australian Perspective
Recent changes in consumer behaviour due to the COVID-19 pandemic mean that few businesses can afford to ignore the internet, and the opportunities for efficiencies and scale that it offers. Operating a business online presents tremendous opportunities for growth by opening up new geographical markets, however it also creates new challenges for businesses in ensuring that their key intellectual property assets, which are made available online, are adequately protected. So how can businesses manage their intellectual property, and ensure they are not infringing on the intellectual property rights of others, when trading online?
- COVID-19 (Australia): Updated Guide to ACCC Authorisations (October 2020)
*This information is accurate as of Thursday 1 October and is subject to change as this situation evolves. Welcome to our updated guide to industry collaborations approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see full Guide below for more information.
- Defending the use of a drug and alcohol policy
A recent decision of Fair Work Australia has highlighted the importance of employers implementing appropriate drug and alcohol policies and testing regimes. In finding that an employee was unfairly dismissed for a breach of such a policy, Fair Work Australia has also reiterated the importance of...
- ATO releases new tax ruling for charities
On 12 October 2011, the ATO released a new tax ruling TR 2011/4 setting out its views on the meaning of 'charitable' in the context of determining whether the purpose of an organisation is charitable, including the features distinguishing a charitable institution and a charitable fund, and the...
- Reforming Australia's mineral and energy resource exploration sector
Removing unnecessary regulatory burdens - Recognising Australia's declining share of international energy and resources exploration investment, the Australian Government has commissioned its independent research and advisory body, the Productivity Commission, to evaluate non-fin...
- Australian “Gene Patenting” Case to be Appealed
The patenting of human genes in Australia remains under court review. As reported in the blog Patentology, an appeal of the Australian decision, Cancer Voices et al. v. Myriad Genetics Inc. et al., was filed on March 4, 2013 to a Full Bench of the Federal Court of Australia by the law firm of...
- Can Heads of Agreement That Are "Subject to Contract" Still Bind You?
Background - It is common practice for parties to property and business transactions (such as sales, purchases and leases) to sign a heads of agreement once an agreement has been reached in relation to the key commercial terms of the transaction, but prior to the preparation...
- New Powers for ASADA to Investigate Possible Anti-doping Violations
From today, 1 August 2013, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has a number of new powers by virtue of the recent passage in the Commonwealth Parliament of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment Act 2013 (Cth) (the Amending Act)....
- Crowdsourced Equity Funding in Australia
The potential for crowdsourced equity funding (CSEF) in Australia is not yet clear. CSEF refers to arrangements through which a business (the issuer) seeks to raise capital, particularly early-stage funding, by offering small debt or equity interests in the issuer to large numbers of investors (typi...
- Credit Law Regulatory Update – The Year in Review and What’s Next
The 23rd Annual Credit Law Conference was held on 2 October – 4 October 2013 and attended by over 200 delegates from the financial services industry. The Conference provided an informative overview of key changes that will impact the financial services industry in Australia and insights into how...
- Australian High Court confirms that methods of medical treatment of the human body are patentable inventions
On 4 December 2013, the High Court of Australia handed down a decision confirming that methods of medical treatment can fall within the scope of patentable subject-matter....
- Overview of the Class Action Regime in Australia
The Australian class action regime is among the most plaintiff-friendly in the world, and it has been reported that, outside of the U.S., Australia is the next most likely place in which a corporation will find itself defending a class action (Clark & Harris, The Push To Reform Class Action...