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Productivity Commission makes pharma-specific patent reform recommendations - May 2016

IPT Alert: Register your trade mark with Chinese Customs - Mar 2016

In response to global concerns regarding the mass exportation of counterfeit goods, the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China is now proactively seizing goods registered with Customs. Partner, Tim O’Callaghan and Law Graduate, Nisha Pereira discuss this development. 

New Regulations for Crowd funding Start-Ups, Investors and Platforms - Feb 2016

On February 10 2016 the Corporations Amendment (Crowd-Sourced Funding) Bill 2015 passed the House of Representatives. Before the Senate votes upon this Bill, the Senate Economics Legislation Committee was due to report on the Bill on 22 February 2016, and will hold a public hearing today, 23 February 2016.

Once that Bill is passed, the Corporations Amendment (Crowd-Sourced Funding) Regulation 2015 (Cth) will likely be registered. Partner, David Cornwell and Law Clerk, James Lowrey outline the requirements imposed by the proposed Regulations on crowd funding platforms, investors and companies.

Defining criteria for tax incentives for early stage investors - Feb 2016

As part of the Government’s National Innovation Agenda, the Government released a Policy Discussion Paper on proposed tax incentives for early stage investors. This gives some guidance on how the incentives will work.

To encourage early stage investment into innovative Australian companies, the tax incentive will provide investors with the benefit of a non-refundable tax offset and a capital gains tax exemption on investments that meet certain eligibility criteria. 

The availability of the tax incentive will depend on various critical qualifying definitions. These definitions are considered in the Policy Discussion Paper.  Partner, David Cornwell and Senior Associate, Kimberley Levi discuss the Policy Discussion Paper.

Drone Regulation – Australia lags behind US - Dec 2015

On 15 December the US Federal Aviation Administration released an ‘Interim Final Rule’ providing for new registration and marking requirements for hobby and recreational drones. The rule came into effect on 21 December 2015, providing a web-based process for US citizens to register drones heavier than half a pound and less than 55 pounds.

This development in US drone regulations is in comparison to silence from The Civil Aviation Safety Authority, suggesting it was due to develop new drone regulations to go before Parliament by the end of 2016. It appears that deadline is not achieved.

Partner, David Cornwell and Law Clerk, James Lowrey compare the new US regulation and the current Australian position.

Safe harbours for startups and other directors - Dec 2015

On 7 December 2015, the Federal Government released the National Innovation and Science Agenda, delivering a range of new initiatives. Among the key focus areas, the Government highlighted insolvency law as a primary area overdue for reform. Whilst not introducing wholesale reforms to mimic the United States ‘Chapter 11’ framework, the targeted reforms seek to eliminate the stigma associated with business failure. Partner David Cornwell, Special Counsel Dr Malcolm Quirey and Law Clerk James Lowrey explore the promise these measures hold for Australian startups and early stage companies.

Signature Innovation and Science Agenda Launched - Dec 2015

The Prime Minister (and a plethora of Ministers) announced the Government’s signature National Innovation and Science Agenda, earlier today. It reverses the earlier deep cuts in Government funding for research and development in the most recent Budget.

The measures announced are far reaching, but we await much of the detail.

The key areas provided for in the new policy are explained below by Partners, David Cornwell, James Lawrence, Tim O’Callaghan and Tim Clark from the firm’s national Corporate and Intellectual Property & Technology Practices.

Failure to Launch - Equity Crowd Funding in Australia - Dec 2015

Yesterday the Government’s long awaited, proposed regulatory framework for equity crowd source funding was introduced into Parliament. The framework has been widely criticised. The draft legislation does not provide a regulatory regime conducive to the development of equity crowd funding market in Australia. It is too unwieldy to open up a source of risk capital for start-up and early stage companies.

Partner, David Cornwell, Associate, Kimberley Levi and Law Clerk, James Lowrey provide a critical overview of proposed regulatory framework.  

Australia to follow USA moving forward with Equity Crowdfunding regulations - Nov 2015

While Australia is still in the process of finalising a regulatory framework for equity crowdfunding, the United States has moved forward. On 30 October 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) passed rules to implement Title III of the Jobs Act in the United States. Title III was passed by Congress within the JOBS Act in 2012 however it specifically required SEC rules to implement its operation.

Partner, David Cornwell provides a high level overview of the United States’ regulatory position to permitting retail investors to participate in equity crowdfunding.

Taxation Issues and Equity Crowdfunding in Australia - Oct 2015

The Government is soon to introduce a regulatory framework to facilitate equity crowdfunding. However, to date, there has been minimal focus on the taxation treatment of equity crowdfunding. It is hoped that the Government will prioritise the tax treatment of equity crowdfunding as part of the “national innovation agenda” however until the Government does so, it is important to be mindful of the Australian Taxation Office’s views on the application of the existing tax laws to equity crowdfunding. Partner, David Cornwell, Associate, Kimberley Levi and Law Clerk, Stephaine Skevington discuss the current taxation implications on equity crowdfunding in Australia.

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