Technology continues to evolve rapidly and create challenges.
The role of intellectual property for businesses is now being
recognised as a critical role in promoting innovation and
maintaining their competitive edge.
2012 was a busy year for both of these areas and 2013 is set to
be just as busy and even more challenging! Here is a snapshot of
some of the things we have to look forward to and their impact
– on everything from the way we work to managing the supply
The 'raising the bar' amendments to Australia's IP
legislation will have some significant impacts on IP registration
processes, especially for patent applicants, including more
stringent requirements in their applications from 15 April
Applications need to disclose specific, substantial, credible
Applications need to be sufficient – i.e. provide
complete information to a person skilled in the art.
Applications need to specify supporting bases for claims.
Changes to the assessment of 'inventive step'.
Changes to examination and prosecution timeframes.
TECHNOLOGY AND THE WORKPLACE
As social media becomes more and more prevalent in people's
lives and technology is in everyone's hands and facilitates
mobility and operating remotely, workplaces need to be equipped to
deal with the risks and benefits of technology and social media in
the workplace – think LinkedIn and employees changing jobs,
BYO devices and how they fit with privacy, confidentiality, IP,
privilege and records retention obligations and the like.
PRIVACY AND DATA PROTECTION
Over the next 12 months or so, Australia's privacy laws will
undergo major changes, in particular the implementation of one set
of privacy principles for all organisations, new credit reporting
principles and implications for organisations that store and
process information off-shore or in the cloud.
Big Data is the big buzz-term this year. Data harvesting
represents an amazing tool that more and more businesses are using
to try to manage the ever-growing volume of intra- and
extra-organisational data to improve efficiencies in their
operations and supply chains. But are big data technologies putting
your IP, data and personal information at risk?
CONVERGENCE, LAW REFORM AND REVIEW BY THE AUSTRALIAN LAW REFORM
COMMISSION (ALRC) – COPYRIGHT AND THE DIGITAL ECONOMY.
The ALRC faces head-on some of the big challenges that digital
media and the Web pose for copyright - caching, indexing, data
mining, social media, transformative applications, statutory
licences and fair use are all in the mix.
A new technology has entered the business landscape, 3-D
scanning and printing, an increasingly popular means of reproducing
a variety of products. As the availability and ease of 3-D printing
technology increases, and the price drops, adoption of this new
technology will rise significantly. The ability for someone to
easily, quickly and cheaply make an identical or near identical
replica of any object has significant ramifications for all
manufacturers and IP rights owners. In particular for those
involved in manufacture, distribution or sale of objects that have
few, if any moving parts or that are simple in design or operation,
like spare parts, jewellery, sporting goods or toys. The ways in
which the law and businesses choose to respond to these challenges
and opportunities will be critical.
These are just some of the things that we'll be looking at
in the year ahead. We will keep you informed as and when
developments happen and make sure you understand how they affect
you and your business.
As a licensor or a licensee, here are some tips you should consider when negotiating your next licence agreement.
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