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What interests us

Credit Management – getting paid

Credit management is not an easy business and it has more than its share of bear traps. It can also be an uncomfortable start to a business relationship, signing up customers to a credit agreement and standard terms setting out the supplier’s rights in the event of default. It’s like asking a bride or groom […]

Digital Signatures

We described the ‘electronic signatures’ in our blog on 20 August 2015: documents that are signed electronically rather than in hard-copy form. ‘Digital signatures’ are another emerging form of signature which may be used to ‘sign’ documents electronically, rather than physically. Digital signatures are secured using cryptic mathematical functions specific to the individual using the […]

Is isolated DNA patentable?

A patent is a right granted for a device, substance, method or process that you have invented which is new, inventive and useful. This differs from a trademark, which is a method used to distinguish your goods and services from those of another trader. In the recent case of D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc & […]

Can employment be terminated for use of Facebook?

The law about unfair dismissal for social media use is still emerging. Several recent cases show that using Facebook, Twitter or other forms of social media excessively at work or in an inappropriate manner can have severe consequences for employees. In the case of O’Keefe v The Good Guys (2011), O’Keefe was fired after posting […]

Electronic Signatures

Until recently, all executed contracts were produced in hard-copy and signed by hand. Many businesses and individuals now embrace a ‘paperless’, digital approach to conducting business. Examples include ‘click to accept’ online contract. Many contracts require notices to be given “in writing”. The law allows a document to be executed by an electronic signature and […]

Employees vs Contractors

Sometimes, people choose to work as Independent Contractors rather than Employees as it suits them to have the flexibility that being an Independent Contractors provides. Independent Contractors are not part of a business’ PAYG obligations and are responsible for their own taxation. They are not paid superannuation and aren’t eligible for leave. However, they are […]

Insolvent Trading and Directors’ Liability

Trading during insolvency can have serious consequences for directors due to duties arising under the Corporations Act. Penalties such as heavy fines and imprisonment may apply. To prevent insolvency trading, it’s important to know what conduct it covers. If a company is pursuing transactions or commercial activities while they are unable to pay back their […]

Click to Agree- All contracts are not created equal!

‘Click-to-agree’ terms and conditions are frequently encountered by technology users. This method enables a contract to be made quickly with a click of a button. But how effective are these mini-contracts? Do they carry the same weight and enforceability as a ‘real’ contract? Firstly, not all ‘click-to-agree’ contracts are created equal. The most commonly used […]

Email Footers- Worth the Trouble?

Almost every organisation now provides in the footer of their correspondence a small disclaimer, provided to protect the organisation from any liabilities. But how legally enforceable are these disclaimers, really? The answer is – not very. The basic principles of contract law stipulate that for a contract to be enforceable, both parties must have intended […]

Can you infringe a trademark with your SEO tag-lines?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tag-lines are used by companies to become more visible to customers searching for their services online. The courts have recently considered this question. The company Lift Shop Pty Ltd, which supplies elevators, registered a trademark featuring the phrase “lift shop”. Another elevator supply company Easy Living Home Elevators Pty Ltd, in […]