Practice Areas

We are experts in trade marks, copyright and advertising law. We don't dabble in other areas of law, as we believe our clients deserve only the best advice. Our focus on the operation of IP in specific fields, means you will have the best possible know-how applied to your work.

 

Trade marks 

Trade marks indicate to consumers who is behind a product or service. They act to distinguish one persons products and services from other traders in the same field and as such, are valuable assets in any business. A trade mark could be a name, logo, colour, sound, shape or smell that represents your brand and its reputation. The trade mark registration process is governed by IP Australia and allows for the protection of these identifiers for up to 10 years, before requiring renewal.

 

Copyright

Copyright law protects the expression of ideas/creativity in many forms including artwork, music, written materials and film. It encourages individual inventiveness and creativity by giving exclusive rights to the creators over the reproduction and exploitation of these expressions. In Australia, we don't have a registration system for copyright protection, the rights of the author are automatic upon creation of the work.

Designs

The aim of modern design law is to protect the shape, configuration, pattern and overall visual appearance of a product. The law gives designers enforceable and exclusive rights over the reproduction and commercialisation of the products visual appearance. The rights are granted when the design is registered with IP Australia and initially last for 5 years. Once a product has entered the public domain, (if it is not already registered with IP Australia) it cannot be protected.

The function of products are protected though the registration of Patents (an area we don't practice in).

Australian Consumer Law

The Australian Consumer Law is designed to offer consumers protection from businesses trading in a misleading or deceptive fashion. Including representations that lead consumers to believe there is an association or approval between two companies where there is none. It also provides brand owners with protection against other business as individuals trading off their goodwill and reputation. The common law action of Passing Off is based on the same principles.

Industry compliance 

The Australian advertising industry is self regulated and as such industry rules or Codes of Practice are in place to determine how a person/business should behave within this industry. These codes and regulations ensure that all members are behaving in an acceptable and responsible manner, as well as acting to protect the public from offensive or misleading information.

Trade promotions/competitions 

Used commonly to promote businesses and their products, trade promotions require compliance not only with consumer protection laws and advertising codes of practice but also gambling / gaming laws in each state or territory. The first step in planning and running these promotions is identifying the type of game that will be at the centre of the promotion. Please contact us if you would like to know more.