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Teenage mobile phone use statistics

What use do 58,480 teenagers aged 12 to 18 make of their mobile phones in 31 countries? A major survey indicates a lot has changed in 18 months. It is immediately relevant to the IP commercialisation strategy of many businesses trading in intellectual property .

The teenagers were surveyed in October and November 2007 by Habbo, part of Sulake, an online entertainment and social networking company in Finland. Habbo states that statistical weighting was employed to give all participating countries an equal weight in the global results. Habbo's virtual world website claims 8.6 million unique users on a monthly basis.

Gathered below are statistics from the survey released in April 2008. It follows Habbo's first survey in 2006. A lot has changed in 18 months.

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Telstra guilty in keywords advertising

The rise in keyword advertising has brought with it opportunity for some and piracy, theft or misleading conduct for others. Telstra yesterday admitted it fell into the later camp in 2005 in its use of keyword advertising.

A court case report in today's Australian, indicates that "Telstra announced yesterday that its classifieds division, the Trading Post contravened sections 52 and 53(d) of the Trade Practices Act through its search engine marketing on google.com.au in August 2005."

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Lawyers who get social media

Every business has a brand, some have several. All businesses need customers for their brands because the dominant purpose of business is to make money. To reach those customers they need exposure. Simple really... except things constantly change.

They just did for Uniliver which went public about its strategy for marketing online, ie its digital strategy.

Take the business of Unilever Australia Limited as an example. In Australia it owns or conducts brand management for such trade marks as Rexona, Surf, Sunsilk, Vaseline, Streets, Omo, Lipton, Flora, and Bertolli.

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How to be smart in patent search work

" I viddied right at once what to do " says Alex in the 1962 book and 1971 film, A Clockwork Orange. Viddied is Alex's lingo for viewed, saw or realised. I had Alex's sensation this evening as I viddied a superb slide presentation titled "Web 2.0 goes social" credited to Jia Lynn Yang of Fortune magazine.

At once I viddied how it provides insights on conducting smart patent search work. This is a very real issue, including for inventors of software patents and business method patents.

Earlier today I had a phone conversation with an inventor client about how he might go about commissioning a patent search. His invention will be initially rendered in software and later as a hardware product. As an analogy, imagine if Apple first launched with iTunes, and followed up with the iPod and iTunes pre-loaded Apple computers.

Advising an inexperienced client about IP search work takes time. The conversation turned to how to gain from patent protection and avoid patent threats.

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Learning from Xerox's trademark makeover

PRESS RELEASE: Here at Xerox Corporation we've got a problem and we think we can fix it in 2008 with a brand makeover. Customers are being drawn to Canon, Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba. Don't even mention Nokia or Apple! We have said goodbye to our almost 50 year old logo. Today we'd like you to meet our new logo.

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Contract Drafting Tips Series: Restraint of Trade Clause

A restraint of trade clause seeks to restrict the freedom of a person to trade or deal in specified ways with assets, information or third parties. It can apply during a contractual relationship and also for a period after its termination or expiry.

This article is part of our series on drafting tips for contract clauses.

The law is that a restraint of trade is contrary to public policy and unenforceable unless the restraint is reasonable in the parties' interests and also in the public interest: Attwood v Lamont (1920) 3 KB 371.

The typical situation we see is when a company, employer or employee calls us in a panic for advice on a restraint. It's best to check restraints earlier than this.

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Does your business have an effective digital media footprint?

What does it take today to create or improve your corporate or business digital footprint? Is reaching business elites part of your target?

As a solicitor working with content for 25 years and with digital media  since 1983 I've learned a thing or two about digital media law as well as creative and commercial considerations. The question is: what works today for business? If you are pressured for time then make this sentence your mantra: The digital media footprint and functionality a business or corporation needs requires ideas and a plan. Following are free ideas, call and we can discuss a plan.

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Commercialisation of IP and IT products for Australian children

The habits of teenagers often stay with them for life. Music was one of my addictions as a teenager. It inspired me to write Music formats and law: commercialisation of 45-rpm records.

A recently released Australian Government survey contains good statistics on the habits of young people today and their use of digital media. It is relevant for developers, distributors and financiers of intellectual property (IP) products for teenagers and young adults. It is useful for commercialisation or IP valuation of a social media website, educational site, online game, software program, or other IT product.

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Is there an engineer in the house? Australia's IP future.

When I go to a party alone and the host finds out I'm a lawyer I often hear: "Oh, so and so over there is a lawyer, let me introduce you to her." My fantasy is to reply with this: "Thank you. But is there an engineer in the house? You see, the work of engineers inspires me.

Engineers create intellectual property (IP). Sadly the kudos, social status and money too often go to others, at least in Anglo-Saxon countries. We are pondering this theme as Australia's 2020 ideas summit approaches - http://www.australia2020.gov.au. We seek an escalator to the future, better still a road and a road map.

Engineers can build IP roads and road maps to the future. They deal with substantive IP. Their work can invent or create a market

In contrast most people in business, including often we IP lawyers, work with merely late stage representational IP. We merely paste IP law decoration or packaging onto products or services, eg by making a brand a registered trade mark. This rarely creates new markets. It's not blue ocean strategy.

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IP strategy for R&D: keep records like Thomas Edison

Making money from R&D and intellectual property is based on documents.

I learned this in 1983 on the first day of my first job as Legal Officer for Angus & Robertson Publishers, Australia's oldest book publisher.

A colleague pointed to three tall and very heavy fire-proof filing cabinets in a hallway. She then said: "The publishing contracts with authors in there are the foundation for the wealth of this company over the last 100 years."

This post ends with practical suggestions for improving record keeping. I'll first discuss why it is vital in business to make records (which here includes preparing documents).

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13 legal tasks for starting a business

When starting a business it is best to work with a fairly comprehensive list of prioritised things to do.

The list in this article reflects my 30 years of experience as a business lawyer. The list applies to most businesses, recognising however that there are industry by industry variables.

For example, some businesses require regulatory licences, eg for people in a trade or in a food preparation or sale business.

Additionally, some businesses should prioritise finalisation of written intellectual property licences or assignments, eg for acquisition of the rights to a business name, logo or business system.  

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Six good questions for building wealth with intellectual property

Venture capital looks for great intellectual property (IP). So do many providers of seed capital, including angel investors like friends and family.

A single IP asset or right is rarely a silver bullet, be it a patent, a trade mark, a specific trade secret or some other IP.

Your IP will be more attractive to financial backers if you work on constantly perfecting a bundle of IP legal rights instead of daydreaming about a one shot silver bullet.

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Design IP to beat parallel importation

I'm wearing a white Ralph Polo business shirt with blue pinstripes. It has a blue embroidered polo player logo. A relative bought it for me as an "out of season" design from an outlet store in California, probably for a price far cheaper than anywhere in Sydney.

Noric Dilanchian Video on Legal Design


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Australia's common law near abroad

Twelve months ago I asked a friend, a visiting barrister from London, a question. I asked: "Do the courts in England sometimes quote Australian judgements?" He replied: "England has judges whose legal minds can be extraordinary; and there are so many of them. Why should they refer to the court decisions in Australia!"

I had no quarrel with his reply. I was just curious as to the practices of judges in England.

So what countries are citing the judgements of Australian judges if not judges in England? This question did not occur to me again, until today.

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Law with graphics and software

In the age of the internet and other computer networks, the lack of graphics to simplify law, let alone public software tools, remains remarkable.

The legal sector's fixation on text alone, leads to data smog, information obesity, and information overload.

This became the case years ago in business law. Now it is commonplace in numerous fields of law, eg insolvency, corporations, and employment law.

Fighting legal information obesity

The good news is that it is inevitable that the situation will change. We've been saying this for years at out firm (see the further reading list). But the change is very slow!

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