Welcome to Stephens Lawyers & Consultants
A leading Victorian intellectual property small law firm.
Stephens Lawyers & Consultants is a specialist boutique commercial legal practice, emphasising expertise in intellectual property, competition and consumer law, media & entertainment and defamation law, technology/biotechnology, franchising and international trade law.
Stephens Lawyers is committed to understanding the client's needs from a practical, commercial as well as legal perspective and delivering strategic and cost effective legal advice. Every client has direct access to a principal of the firm, who understand the complexities of operating a business in today's commercial environment.
"The competitive global economy in the technology areas has led to intellectual property owned by individuals and corporations becoming a major capital asset. The value of the technology, which is the subject of intellectual property laws, is important for the future development of the Asia Pacific region."
Extract from a paper presented by Julian Stephens at the Lawasia Conference, Beijing, China.
Stephens Lawyers & Consultants – Recent News
1. Katarina Klaric will be chairing the "Consumer Law: New Changes" Legalwise Seminar being held in Melbourne on 16 March, 2016.
2. Katarina Klaric attended the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association (ACLA) National Conference in November, 2015, held on the Gold Coast, Queensland. Stephens Lawyers & Consultants was a sponsor of this conference.
3. Katarina Klaric and Julian Stephens attended the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand Conference in September, 2015, held in Sydney. Issues discussed included the harmonisation of Intellectual Property laws between Australia and New Zealand which would provide greater certainty for IP protection for companies involved in cross-border Australia/New Zealand business transactions; recent developments in patentable subject matter in Australia including computer software patents.
Read more Stephens Lawyers News
Social Media and Defamation - October 2015
The recent court decision in Hockey v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd  FCA 652 demonstrates that Courts will award significant damages for defamatory tweets. As explained in this article, the Federal Court in Hockey v Fairfax made an award of $80,000.00 in compensatory damages for two tweets comprising three words each.
Australian Uniform Defamation Laws Update - May 2015
Although the Uniform Defamation Laws in Australia are now essentially uniform, the existence of the separate jurisdictions, the cross border publications, Internet and international publications and communications continue to make issues relating to choice of law and choice of jurisdiction important concerns for parties in a defamation dispute.
Competition and Consumer Law Update - November 2014
Recent amendments to the Competition and Consumer Act give the regulator, the ACCC, powers to apply penalties and issue infringement notices to businesses that have breached industry codes of conduct which contain civil penalty provisions. The amendments will come into effect on 1 January 2015.
The Australian franchising industry has been regulated under a mandatory industry code, the Franchising Code of Conduct, since 1 July 1998. During this time the code has been amended twice. A new Franchising Code of Conduct will commence on 1 January 2015.
Copyright in Photographs - Perils of Online Copying
There is a common misconception by internet users that photographic images found on the internet, websites and social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be freely copied and used for commercial purposes without the licence of the copyright owner. This update provides an overview of the copyright law and recent court decisions related to ownership and use of photographs and includes risk minimisation strategies to avoid copyright infringement.
Legal Business Structures for Bands and Musical Ensembles
Although a legal business structure is rarely on the agenda for an emerging band or musical ensemble, there are many benefits in obtaining strategic commercial, legal and accounting advice on what legal structure is best suited for them, whether that be a formal partnership or a company.
Australian Trade Mark Protection - Online Businesses
Under Australian law there is no legal requirement to register a trade mark or brand name to use it, however a recent Federal Court decision highlights the benefits of trade mark registration over claims relying on misleading and deceptive conduct under the Australian Consumer Law and passing off at common law.
Australian Consumer Law - Directors & Employees' Liabilities
The new Personal Property Securities Register - How does it effect Franchise Businesses?
Consumer Guarantees - Is Your Business Compliant?
Are you aware of the ACCC's industry code audit powers?