Intellectual property and technology
Intellectual property (IP) is one of the most important assets that a company may possess.
We work with clients not only to protect intellectual property from unauthorised use by others but also to realise its value through transfer, licensing or further development. We regularly advise on the commercial aspects of franchising, including setting up a franchise, intellectual property protection (including branding), operational matters and regulatory compliance.
The purpose of most of the protection of intellectual property is to enable the intellectual property to be commercialised. We have substantial experience in advising on the commercialisation of intellectual property, whether it be by way of transfer, development or licensing.
We have prepared licence agreements for business entities located in most major business centres in the world. We understand the need for the licensing agreements to actually reflect the aims of the parties to ensure the appropriate commercialisation and return on commercialisation.
Often the intellectual property of a business is not protectable at law as it may not be subject to the laws of copyright or patent. The information is kept confidential but, to realise value, it often has to be disclosed.
Confidentiality agreements are an important factor in protecting the disclosure of confidential information to ensure that it is not the subject of unauthorised disclosure.
We can provide pro forma confidentiality agreements, where the information is being disclosed regularly, and tailor made confidentiality agreements where the disclosure is irregular or subject to unusual circumstances and where additional or various protections are needed.
Copyright protects a broad range of works and other subject matter, including computer programs, on-line content, broadcasts and recordings. There are no registration requirements in Australia and copyright will typically arise when the work or other subject matter is created.
We regularly provide advice on the protection and commercialisation of copyright and in relation to infringement matters. We conduct copyright litigation in various Australian Courts and provide strategic copyright advice across the spectrum of copyright works and subject matter.
Franchising in Australia is highly regulated under a national mandatory Franchising Code of Conduct, which is enacted under the Competition and Consumer Act 2011.
We have extensive experience in providing legal support to franchisors and master franchisees in relation to establishing and maintaining an effective franchising network in Australia.
We assist both Australian and internationally based franchisors and master franchisees. Our expertise includes:
- preparing franchise agreements, disclosure documents, leasing documentation (including sub-leasing and licensing), employment contracts and supply contracts;
- advising on commercial aspects of setting up a franchise, intellectual property protection (including branding), operational matters and regulatory compliance;
- advising and acting in relation to disputes between franchisors and franchisees, including mediations and Federal and State Court litigation;
- compliance with the Franchise Code of Conduct; and
- acquisitions and sale of franchise businesses.
Our commercial IP expertise includes advice on the commercialisation of patent and design rights and drafting commercial agreements including complex IP and technology licences and assignments. Our litigation team has experience in running patent litigation with expertise across a range of industries and subject matter.
We are able to assist in locating suitable patent attorneys both in Australia and overseas and liaise with patent attorneys on your behalf.
We provide specialist legal services to both procurers and suppliers of technology in a broad range of commercial, technology and telecommunication matters.
Our work in this area includes structuring, drafting, negotiating and managing complex commercial arrangements. We cover the full technology spectrum, from data centres to implementation services.
Our team has many years combined commercial experience in this area of law, and we continually monitor current trends and issues to ensure that we are up to date with the latest developments.
We have acted in a wide variety of significant technology matters and take pride in delivering novel solutions to complex technology issues. Our experience in this area means that we can quickly and easily identify potential issues for our clients, and then tailor solutions to their own individual business needs.
Our services include:
- Commercial procurement, particularly technology and communications procurement and outsourcing initiatives
- Transaction structuring and complex contracting arrangements in the technology and communications industry
- Communications and media regulation
- Intellectual property (including management, licensing and enforcement)
- Data protection and privacy
- Electronic commerce and online content agreements
- Telecommunications regulation and access arrangements
- Acting as legal counsel to executives in the technology and communications industry.
Trade marks are commonly registered to protect brand names. We can provide advice as to the extent and nature of the trade mark protection available and undertake on your behalf to register trade marks in Australia and overseas.
We can also assist in bringing proceedings for trade mark infringement or defending allegations of trade mark infringement.