Intellectual Property, Technology and Media Newsletter – March 2021

22 March 2021

Welcome to our Newsletter, bringing you the latest in Intellectual Property, Technology and Media Law legal news.

Cyber Bytes – Cyber State of Play – March 2021

As cyber security risk continues to grow and evolve in 2021, we take stock of the current cyber state of play in Australia. What were the key developments in 2020, what have we already seen unfolding in 2021 and where is cyber law and regulation heading? Here is our snapshot.

Click here to read more.

Reminder of imminent phase out of innovation patents

Pursuant to the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 2 and Other Measures) Act 2020, Innovation Patents will no longer be accepted for filing by IP Australia from 26 August 2021. The last day for filing an Innovation Patent will be 25 August 2021 (AEST).

Instead of Innovation Patents, which have been perceived as a benefit for Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs), SMEs will now receive access to an SME case management service, an SME fast track service, an SME outreach program and an online portal according to IP Australia.

Click here to read more.

Proposed amendments to the SOCI act may have significant impacts on the data processing and communications sectors

On 10 December 2020, the Commonwealth House of Representatives introduced an amendment Bill which, when passed, will significantly expand the scope and operation of the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 (Cth) (SOCI Act).

The amended SOCI Act would bring a wide range of new areas under the umbrella of Australia’s critical infrastructure, including data processors, domain name systems, telecommunications providers, broadcasting services and more.

Click here to read more.

The ‘New’ New Zealand privacy act is more in line with Australia’s, but there are still some differences

On 1 December 2020, the Privacy Act 2020 came into force in New Zealand. The new Privacy Act significantly enhances New Zealand’s privacy laws and sees the introduction of additional obligations and compliance requirements.

In particular, the extraterritorial scope of the Privacy Act means that overseas businesses or organisations ‘carrying on business’ in New Zealand will be subject to the Act’s privacy obligations, even if they do not have a physical presence in New Zealand. This will particularly affect online businesses.

The changes to New Zealand’s privacy laws have brought the New Zealand and Australian laws more in line with each other and closer to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Click here to read more.

In case you missed it, the following articles were recently published on our website:

Changes to regulation of software based medical devices

Through rapid advances in computing technology, software has expanded from our personal devices and televisions, and into our medical devices. Software products can now inform, drive, and even replace clinical decisions and directly provide therapy to individuals, drastically changing their risk profiles in medicine and healthcare.

To better address such use of software in the field and align Australia’s regulatory position with international guidance and the European Union position, regulatory requirements specific to software-based medical devices have been incorporated in the Therapeutic Goods (Medical Devices) Regulations 2002 (Regulations).

Click here to read more.

Five trade mark traps to avoid when launching a new brand

Applying for trade mark registration is not always the first priority of a new business. However, in the rush to market, it is all too easy to overlook key steps in setting up brands for longer term success. It is often after a successful market presence is established that it becomes apparent that formal brand protection will be difficult or impossible to obtain, jeopardising market position and future growth.

Recent decisions of the Australian Trade Marks Office (ATMO) serve as reminders of the need to keep certain structural and evidential considerations in mind as part of the brand-creation process. By asking yourself the following five questions, you will go a long way to ensuring your business can register its trade marks when it needs to do so.

Click here to read more.

Changes to US trade mark laws

The Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (Act) aims ‘to improve and strengthen the accuracy and integrity’ of the US trade mark register. The Act introduces a number of important changes targeting applications and registrations which rely upon inaccurate claims of use and several of these changes are likely to affect foreign companies seeking to register trade marks or maintain trade mark registrations in the US.

The Act, which was signed into law on 27 December 2020 and will be implemented by 27 December 2021, affects both pending applications and registrations. The FY 2021 Final Trademark Fee Rule (Fee Rule), which was implemented on 2 January 2021, also increased various filing and maintenance fees.

Below, we summarise the new expungement and re-examination procedures, and changes to deadlines, fees and penalties introduced by the Act and the Fee Rule.

Click here to read more.

Changes to .au domain name licensing rules

2021 is expected to bring significant changes to the .au domain name system as we know it, from how .au domain names can be used, who can register them and what can be registered.

The .au Domain Administration Ltd (auDA) which develops and administers rules for .au domain names, announced late last year that new .au licensing rules are set to launch in April 2021 (Licensing Rules). The Rules are a consolidation and update of auDA’s current policies and guidelines (Current Rules) and will cover all aspects of the .au country code Top Level Domain for both registrants and registrars.

Click here to read more

Subscribe to HWL Ebsworth Publications and Events

HWL Ebsworth regularly publishes articles and newsletters to keep our clients up to date on the latest legal developments and what this means for your business.

To receive these updates via email, please complete the subscription form and indicate which areas of law you would like to receive information on.

Contact us