Rubgyphone

New Media and Fair Dealing: Legal Knock-On

National Rugby League CEO David Gallop Gallop was recently a guest lecturer at the University of Technology. The topic: Sport and the Law. Lightbulb imagines Gallop wouldn’t have been stuck for things to talk about.

The NRL is currently in the middle of a difficult legal stoush involving its major sponsor and pay TV broadcaster. We’ve been watching the story unfold with interest, especially given rights over new media lie at the core of the dispute.

Read more

Monroe

US publicity rights clearances are essential

Do you have products you wish to export to the United States, a film or book you want distributed there, or a website seeking US customers? Do you also use images or other identifications of famous people without consent in your product, film, book or website?

If you answered "Yes" to both questions you should seek legal advice on whether you need to obtain consent, permission or clearances before you export or publish in the US. This is because of the laws in the US known as "publicity rights". While ultimately specialist advice may be needed from a US attorney, this article is an introduction to publicity rights. It is illustrated by a New York court case involving the estate of Marilyn Monroe.

The court described the case as "a tortuous series of [legal procedural] events" ... over "Marilyn Monroe, perhaps the most famous American sex symbol of the twentieth century...". It ruled there are no Marilyn Monroe publicity rights.

Read more

Dr_robert_thornton_fora_tulips

IP law and IP management ignorance in UK

A 60 page preliminary report has recently been released in the UK revealing the answers by UK companies to 29 questions in a survey about IP. Some survey results evidence a woeful level of knowledge in UK companies about intellectual property protection, management, licensing, valuation and enforcement.

Responses to the survey were received from 1,709 firms of all sizes and in all sectors of UK industry. The report was prepared by the UK Intellectual Property Office and The Institute of Intellectual Property. It is titled "UK Intellectual Property Awareness Survey 2006" [PDF]. It's a very useful report fully illustrated with photos of flowers, hence our graphic here by Dr Robert Thornton, the 18th and 19th century English artist and illustrator of flora.

Read more

Internet_treaties

International harmonisation of IP laws

As two recent major IP events illustrate, the world continues to progress towards harmonisation in intellectual property laws.

The first is signature of the WIPO Internet Treaties by China, as well as by Australia and others. The second is release by the US of its latest section 301 report monitoring compliance with  the vision of the US as regards desirable intellectual property laws and practices by countries worldwide.

Read more

Computer-security2

Checklist of 51 hints for data and IT security

As IT lawyers we regularly advise clients on data theft and computer misuse by employees. As IT users, we’ve had our share of password fatigue and virus scares. And as website operators our firm and its IT consultants have dealt with hacker attacks.

Based on this experience and reading widely (see the reference for this article), here is a list of 51 computer security problems and in each case a brief statement on solutions.

Read more

Hunter_maynard1

Hunter Valley wine brands and branding

What's good, mediocre, bad or just plain ugly in wine branding in the Lower Hunter Valley? A weekend visit provided an opportunity to assess developments.

With over 120 wineries the Hunter Valley region in New South Wales has huge brand pull. It is the most popular tourist destination outside Sydney. In 2006 it is estimated that 2.3 million tourists visited the region, up from about 1 million in 1996-97 and 1.5 million in 1998-99.

Read more

Fashion_gowings_dept_store

Australian fashion law and industry trends

There's a lot of name dropping in fashion, it makes the money go round in the clothing, footwear, perfume, jewellery and accessories markets. In fashion the name's the thing, it also helps to have good design, talent and images of models who are easy to look at.

This article examines trends and statistics relevant to commercialisation, management and legal practices in the fashion sector in Australia.

Read more

Adwords_bextra

AdWords contract upheld

In recent weeks Google won convincingly in the pay-per-click case of Lawrence Feldman v. Google, Inc. [PDF], 2007 WL 966011 (E.D. Pa. March 29, 2007). Google won against Lawrence Feldman, who was the plaintiff. Mr Feldman is also a lawyer.

As lawyers who draft business contracts, we found this AdWords case worth studying. It helps answer this question under US law- when does an online transaction produce  or amount to an enforceable or legally binding contract?

Read more

Co-operatives

Restructuring co-operatives as a business structure

"Mitre 10 is a brand in deep trouble" writes Neil Shoebridge today. He also wrote that Mitre 10 is a retail co-operative, something I'd forgotten. To clarify, Mitre 10 uses a business co-operative legal structure, not a corporate structure. Hence there is no one corporation owning and controlling all the Mitre 10 retail outlets.

This triggered a hunch in my mind as a business structuring lawyer about  how the co-operative structure of Mitre 10 might be speeding Mitre 10's slide against the rise and rise of the Bunnings Group Ltd retail chain. There are many reasons for Mitre 10's slide relative to Bunnings. In this article I'll focus on its structure.

Read more

Lb_thumb

"Making it under US patent litigation"

US patent lawyer and a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago, Russell E. Levine, has neatly summarised noteworthy points of difference between US and Australian patent law litigation. His article, "Making it under US patent litigation", appeared in Lawyer's Weekly, a LexisNexis publication in Australia.

 

The headings and paragraphs below are extracts from his article. They are selected to highlight differences between Australian and United States patent litigation.

A jury decides validity In US patent infringement litigation, the issues of infringement and validity of the asserted patent are decided by a jury. [Our comment: In contrast to Australia, jury trials are a feature of US commercial litigation.]

  • Filing to trial can take two years Although it varies from district to district, the time from filing to trial in a typical US patent infringement suit is two years. Approximately one year of this two-year period is spent conducting discovery, which includes document production, written interrogatories and depositions. [Our comment: Heavy discovery costs also exist in Australia.]
  • Some jurisdictions are known as “rocket dockets”. In these jurisdictions a case can go from filing to trial in less than a year. These rocket dockets, such as the Eastern District of Texas, have a high percentage of patent cases as a part of their docket.
  • US patent litigation is expensive The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) conducts a bi-annual economic survey that includes an assessment of the total cost of patent litigation. For patent cases in which the amount in dispute exceeded US$25 (A$30) million, the AIPLA survey reported that the average cost in 2001 was US$2.99 9 (A$3.6) million and in 2003 US$3.99 (A$4.8) million and in 2005 was US$4.5 (A$5.4) million. When the 2007 survey is released later this year, the average cost is likely to exceed US$5 (A$6) million. [Our comment: Patent litigation in Australia is also among the leaders in legal costs in commercial litigation in Australia.]
  • The loser doesn’t have to pay US patent litigation is governed by what’s known as the “American Rule”. The American Rule is that attorney fees are not awardable to the winning party (i.e. each litigant must pay his own attorney fees) unless statutorily or contractually authorised. [Our comment: A general rule in commercial litigation in Australia is that a court's decision on who pays legal costs follows its decision on the merits of the case. Hence usually the loser of the case pays both its own legal costs and a substantial portion of the legal costs of the winner. There is a belief in Australia that this discourages litigation. Over the years statistics on the level of litigation in say Sydney don't seem to neatly support this belief.]

Read more

Lb_thumb

"Making it under US patent litigation"

US patent lawyer and a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago, Russell E. Levine, has neatly summarised noteworthy points of difference between US and Australian patent law litigation. His article, "Making it under US patent litigation", appeared in Lawyer's Weekly, a LexisNexis publication in Australia.

 

The headings and paragraphs below are extracts from his article. They are selected to highlight differences between Australian and United States patent litigation.

A jury decides validity In US patent infringement litigation, the issues of infringement and validity of the asserted patent are decided by a jury. [Our comment: In contrast to Australia, jury trials are a feature of US commercial litigation.]

  • Filing to trial can take two years Although it varies from district to district, the time from filing to trial in a typical US patent infringement suit is two years. Approximately one year of this two-year period is spent conducting discovery, which includes document production, written interrogatories and depositions. [Our comment: Heavy discovery costs also exist in Australia.]
  • Some jurisdictions are known as “rocket dockets”. In these jurisdictions a case can go from filing to trial in less than a year. These rocket dockets, such as the Eastern District of Texas, have a high percentage of patent cases as a part of their docket.
  • US patent litigation is expensive The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) conducts a bi-annual economic survey that includes an assessment of the total cost of patent litigation. For patent cases in which the amount in dispute exceeded US$25 (A$30) million, the AIPLA survey reported that the average cost in 2001 was US$2.99 9 (A$3.6) million and in 2003 US$3.99 (A$4.8) million and in 2005 was US$4.5 (A$5.4) million. When the 2007 survey is released later this year, the average cost is likely to exceed US$5 (A$6) million. [Our comment: Patent litigation in Australia is also among the leaders in legal costs in commercial litigation in Australia.]
  • The loser doesn’t have to pay US patent litigation is governed by what’s known as the “American Rule”. The American Rule is that attorney fees are not awardable to the winning party (i.e. each litigant must pay his own attorney fees) unless statutorily or contractually authorised. [Our comment: A general rule in commercial litigation in Australia is that a court's decision on who pays legal costs follows its decision on the merits of the case. Hence usually the loser of the case pays both its own legal costs and a substantial portion of the legal costs of the winner. There is a belief in Australia that this discourages litigation. Over the years statistics on the level of litigation in say Sydney don't seem to neatly support this belief.]

Read more

Engelbarts_mouse

Online advertising click fraud

This post concerns an unresolved US click fraud court case which raises questions such as - What are the  legal obligations to prevent click fraud in pay-per-click online or Internet advertising? There are lessons here for advertisers (ie those who place ads) as well as search engines and others who offer opportunities for pay-per-click online advertising.

Click fraud is an Internet sector term, not a legal term. It involves a human being or a robot computer program (ie bot) repeatedly clicking a hyperlinked pay-per-click advertisement. This results in inflated Internet advertising costs payable by advertisers (ie those who place and pay for the ads) who pay per click.

Read more

Tgyhs

TV format licensing checklist

In a scene from the iconic Aussie film The Castle, if something is precious or highly valued by the protagonist Darryl Kerrigan it goes "straight to the pool room". That said, I'm not sure even Darryl has a room that is worthy of the latest achievement of Working Dog, the production company behind The Castle.

Their latest TV creation "Thank God You're Here" (TYGH) has just taken the honour of being the first Australian TV format to be taken up by a US Network, according to Crikey's Glenn Dyer. The US version of TGYH aired on NBC in America the other day to 8.3 million people, which according to Dyer is only an "OK" result. Given the trend of TV importation flows the other way ad nauseum, here at the Lightbulb we're certainly impressed.

Read more

Tax_cgt_return

Restructure your business to get new capital gains tax concessions

Capital gains tax has an enormous impact on the business and tax structuring of small businesses. Thus it is essential to maintain a close watch over changes to capital gains tax law.

A few changes will come into force from 1 July 2007, noteworthy is the increase in the net asset value test from A$5 million to A$6 million. Some of the changes already effective from 1 July 2006 are discussed in this article.

Read more

Tv_format_biggest_loser

Copyright traps for television formats

The popularity and globalisation of reality television programs has increased the value of television format licensing over the last decade or so.

This was discussed briefly in SMS revenue models and e-marketing legal compliance and is illustrated in the post today, TV format licensing checklist.

For television program developers and networks, this Lightbulb post uses three court case studies to ask under intellectual property law - How can they avoid unlawfully copying existing television formats?

Read more

Tags

securities internet risk patent economics corporations law futurism innovation e-commerce design france trust knowledge technology ip revenue digital ip strategy film new zealand risk management human resources name franchise property definitions valuation business marketing law policies china negotiation ip register model states digital rights management practices business sale/purchase needs insolvency television wine resources trade practices audit policies and procedures confidential information entertainment 2.0 business law human web case ip protection assessment united trade mark invention ventures intellectual ip management information and litigation venture middle east media domain remedies industry management legal project management web 2.0 Malaysia strategy dispute resolution business policies and procedures strategic planning entrepreneurship europe enterprise 2.0 security japan communication corporation legal history R&D software education and training procedures finance law technology management protection zealand branding business finance merchandising web ventures enterprise domain name standards compliance law trends communications finance capital migration licensing revenue legal knowledge management contracts africa rights investment entertainment industry training trade spam capital gains tax needs assessment publishing management consultancy history business structuring commercialisation marketing united states collaboration study taxation germany start-up case study united kingdom knowledge management sale/purchase fashion legal risk minimisation intellectual property venture capital privacy beverage ip licensing new moral rights mobile statistics mark structuring Singapore index copyright project checklist food music contract india legal risk management business model retailing ip mobile apps venture finance advertising ip audit information technology business succession fundraising

Social Icons

Tabs Widget

Vivamus imperdiet condimentum diam, eget placerat felis consectetur id. Donec eget orci metus, ac ac adipiscing nunc.

Pellentesque fermentum, ante ac felis consectetur id. Donec eget orci metusvivamus imperdiet.

Photo Stream