Intellectual Property, Technology & Media Newsletter – March 2024

28 March 2024

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

Call me maybe: trade mark protection for phone numbers in Australia

In the arena of contemporary business where branding can define market leadership, the strategic deployment of phone numbers is a key, yet underutilised tool. A thoughtfully selected phone number can elevate beyond its functional role, transforming into a dynamic brand asset, comparable to a distinctive logo, slogan or domain name.

Seeking protection of your phone number as a trade mark isn’t merely a branding choice; it acts as a defence against competitor infringement and misuse. This in turn helps to prevent potential consumer deception.

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Addressing intellectual property rights in construction projects

Intellectual property (IP) plays a large role in helping construction businesses and suppliers to maintain their competitive edge. In the growing age of high-tech products and materials, digital platforms and tech-led construction, knowing how to protect a new and innovative idea can help construction businesses project their unique identity within a crowded marketplace.

From design rights to innovation protection, discover methods for navigating the construction landscape and the crucial dynamic of controlling and accessing IP that is shaping the future of the construction industry.

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An emerging market: Africa’s AfCFTA Agreement and opportunities for Australian IP Rights

In March 2018, the African Union established the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA Agreement) which sought to unify all African countries and allow them to operate as one economic entity, similar to the European Union.

The AfCFTA Agreement now recognises 54 out of 55 African countries as one economic entity. This has allowed for Africa to become the largest free trade area with a total population of 1.3 billion people and a total GPD of $3.4 trillion.

This creates a range of opportunities for Australian businesses within an undeveloped market which by 2030 will have an estimated $6.7 trillion of consumer and business spending. If considering investing within Africa, it is important to understand the implications that come with registering IP within the different jurisdictions and to develop a proactive IP strategy to mitigate risks.

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In case you missed it, the following articles were recently written and published by our team:

Unlocking the fine print: navigating the divide between warranties and indemnities

Many contracts contain clauses that ‘warrant’ the existence of something or ‘indemnify’ a party for losses. It can be confusing to identify the difference between these obligations and what that means for your business.

In this article, we discuss the theoretical differences between warranties and indemnities, and their legal implications in contracts, to provide information that helps you safeguard your interests effectively.

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Behind code doors: can AI be trusted to keep a secret?

With generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT taking a form that looks like a private messaging thread, it is easy to slip into a conversational exchange, and treat it like a close confidant. But can telling an AI system something confidential pose an issue?

Generative AI tools are typically run in the cloud by third party vendors. Data submitted to these tools is accordingly disclosed to those vendors. In some instances, this data might be used for further training of the AI system.

In this article, we consider confidentiality issues associated with using AI tools, and whether sharing data (such as your trade secrets, personal information, or privileged legal advice) to an AI system can cause real headaches.

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Don’t go chasin’ waterfalls: an overview of agile contracting

Agile software development methodologies remove the concepts of clear scope, schedule, and budget, replacing them with an embrace of uncertainty. Embracing agile requires changing your way of thinking about a project, and about how you contract.

There is some evidence that suggests as many as 98% of projects are developed using some variation on an agile methodology, and only 2% are developed using traditional waterfall methodology. Despite this high uptake, agile projects are often contracted in the same manner as projects run using a traditional methodology, leading to an increased risk of dispute. This makes it vitally important that businesses understand the risks associated with agile methodologies and how to best contract for these projects.

In this article, we examine what agile project methodology is and how it differs from traditional project methodology, and uncover key considerations that you should inspect when contracting for agile project methodology.

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