Intellectual Property & Trade Practices
The Barristers in the Intellectual Property and Trade Practices section provide advice and represent clients in hearings at IP Australia, examinations conducted by the ACCC, tribunals and courts at every level where any aspect of the law in this area is involved.
An IP Barrister is also involved in negotiation, various forms of alternative dispute resolution and mediation.
Intellectual property extends to products of the mind and imagination over which proprietary rights are given. While being intangible, they are at the heart of commerce and are often of such monetary value that no successful commercial operation can afford to ignore them.
The area covers the range of statutory regimes which provide for registration of exclusive rights such as patents and trade marks or which regulate the way in which business is carried on to promote competition and ensure consumer rights and fair standards of trading practice.
- The Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (for literary, dramatic musical or artistic works, including computer programs, and sound recordings, films, television broadcasts and sound broadcasts, published editions of works)
- The Circuit Layouts Act 1989 (Cth) (for the three-dimensional layout of an integrated circuit and the integrated circuit product )
- The Designs Act 2003 (Cth) (for the overall appearance including the shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation of a product embodying a design)
- The Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) (for any letter, word, name, signature, numeral, device, brand, heading, label, ticket, aspect of packaging, shape, colour, sound or scent or combination of these used to distinguish goods or services in the course of trade)
- The Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (for inventions being new or newly improved products or processes)
- The Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994 (Cth) (for new plant varieties)
- The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (C'th) and the Australian Consumer Law (formerly the Trade Practices Act) (covering many areas of business conduct including consumer protection (misleading and deceptive conduct), restrictive trade practices, unconscionable conduct and liability of manufacturers and importers for defective goods)
The area also covers the actions of passing off and breach of confidence which provide protection and remedies in many commercial contexts including for misrepresentation of businesses, goods or services through look alike names or packaging and unauthorised disclosure of trade secrets and confidential information.