The IP in NFTs – What is being purchased?

As we reported in our first blog post in this series, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a new asset class that is being adopted eagerly across all sectors, raising some interesting challenges from an IP perspective. While NFTs have demonstrated themselves to be a powerful tool in the new digital era, they remain poorly understood, in particular in relation to the rights that are (or are not) transferred on purchase of an NFT. Releasing (known as "minting") and purchasing NFTs can give rise to a number of IP-related issues, such as: - Who has the right to create and release NFTs? - Does the NFT infringe third party rights? - What rights are transferred with the NFT (and on resale)? - How this rights transfer is achieved? Read more

To register or not to register? State of Escape decision reinforces the importance of securing design registration over attempts to rely on copyright (Australia)

By Shaun McVicar and Byron Turner For designers and manufacturers launching new products, registered designs are the most appropriate means of protecting the design of, or embodied in, those products.  A recent appeal court decision reinforces that, in the absence of a registered design, attempts to establish copyright in these products as “works of artistic … Read more

It’s just human nature: AI cannot be a patent inventor in Australia

By Shaun McVicar, Steve Wong and Sarah Henkes-Younger The Full Federal Court has ruled that only a natural person can be an inventor under the Patents Act 1990. In July 2021, a single judge of the Federal Court ruled that an artificial intelligence system can be an ‘inventor’ for the purposes of the Patents Act … Read more

Future of Consumer APAC: IP trends driving differentiation in Australia and China

Emma Iles (Partner, Melbourne) and Peng Lei (Partner, Kewei, Shanghai) discuss recent intellectual property developments in Australia and China with an impact on the consumer sector including the availability of interlocutory injunctions, product distinction through competitor comparison, punitive damages and trends in the development of green consumer technologies. Emma and Peng share their insights, with … Read more

First things first: Full Federal Court clarifies the law on patent term extensions

By Rebekah Gay, Emma Iles, Shaun McVicar and Bryce Robinson Last week, a Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia handed down two unanimous decisions on appeal, clearing up some key uncertainties in the application of Australia’s patent term extension (PTE) regime. Key takeaways A three-judge bench was convened to consider two important appeals … Read more