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Stay in your speed lane - a further warning to retail carriage service providers about NBN speed claims and associated upcoming standards - Sep 2018

Following continuing complaints by consumers in relation to differences between the advertised NBN service speeds and those actually experienced by consumers, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) continues to monitor the claims made by retail carriage service providers (RSPs) and has now taken action against one RSP.

Update on Australia’s Notifiable Data Breaches scheme - Aug 2018

In our earlier article ‘Data Breach Response Planning: Getting Down to Business’ we referred to the introduction of a mandatory new Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme  in Australia and outlined some steps organisations could take to prepare. The changes were introduced by the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 (Cth). The new law requires entities covered by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) to notify both the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and affected individuals of any data breach in respect of personal information they hold where the breach is likely to result in serious harm.

We are now seeing how the mandatory NDB scheme is operating in practice. The OAIC has just released its second quarterly statistical report on notifications under the NDB scheme (NDB Report). You can access their news release and a link to the Report here.

Tim Clark, Partner, and Andrew Barling, Senior Associate, summarise the Notifiable Data Breaches Report.

ACCC: Broadband Speed Claims - Industry Guidance - August 2017 - Sep 2017

The ACCC has previously stated that speed and performance claims regarding retail fixed-line broadband plans are one of its Compliance and Enforcement Priorities for 2017. It has now taken another step in this direction.

In response to a high volume of consumer complaints about ‘slow data speeds’ and regulatory uncertainty, on 21 August 2017, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) published Industry Guidance (Guidance) for Retail Service Providers (RSPs) on advertising speeds for fixed-line broadband services.  The Guidance follows extensive consultation with telecommunications network operators, RSPs and consumer representatives, and builds on the six principles for best-practice marketing (presales and after-sales) it published in February 2017.

Andrew Barling, senior associate and Oliva Dalton, law graduate, discuss the Guidance and its implications for RSPs and consumers.

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.

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