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.
1. Julian Stephens chaired the annual Legalwise seminar ‘Shareholder Agreements:Practical Drafting and Financial Issues‘ held in Melbourne on 7 March, 2018.
2. Julian Stephens attended the 2017 Association of Corporate Counsel Australia (ACC Australia) National Conference held in Alice Springs on 15 to 17 November, 2017. Stephens Lawyers & Consultants was a sponsor of the 2017 ACC Australia National Conference.
3. Katarina Klaric attended the 2017 International Bar Association Annual Conference, the legal profession’s largest international event, held in Sydney on 8 to 13 October 2017. Katarina is a member of the Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Committee of the International Bar Association. She is also a member of the Technology Law Committee of the International Bar Association.
4. Katarina Klaric is a Member of Information Governance ANZ, which has been established to be an Australian and New Zealand think tank for information governance with the aim of promoting information governance global best practice and innovation.
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation
The on-line dissemination of defamatory material can go viral and result in significant reputational damage to individuals and businesses. Internet search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo further disseminate such material on their websites in search results. The High Court of Australia in Trkulja v. Google LLC [13 June 2018] has cleared the way for defamation proceedings against search engine proprietors. [Read more]
Negative or disparaging online reviews can result in substantial damage to a business’ reputation and also a loss of revenue. Some businesses have resorted to the use of non-disparagement clauses in their consumer contracts and small business contracts to stop the publication of damaging reviews. However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC”) views such clauses as “unfair “ contract terms under the Australian Consumer Law if they prevent or limit a customer from making genuine, relevant and lawful public comments about goods or services – as seen in the ACCC’s recent action against Wisdom Properties Group Pty Ltd. [read more…]
Recent awards of damages by courts for on-line defamation serve as a warning to all using the internet that care must be taken to ensure that there is a factual basis for what is published. Wilson v Bauer Media (2017), was one of the highest damages awards for defamation in Australia, including aggravated damages of $650,000 and special damages of $3,917,427. However, on appeal by Bauer Media, the Court of Appeal reduced the award of damages for non-economic loss (including aggravated damages) to $600,000 and ruled that Wilson had not made out her claim for special damages. [read more]
Australian courts will award substantial damages for patent infringement where the amount claimed by the patentee can be substantiated by evidence of loss suffered. A patentee can elect to either claim damages or an account of profits. Businesses seeking to launch new products into the Australian market can limit their risk of patent infringement by appropriate due diligence, patent searches and seeking expert advice in the field. [read more]
The ACCC has issued specific compliance and enforcement priorities for 2017. Is your business compliant with the ACCC’s latest 2017 compliance priorities? [read more]
The Australian franchising industry has been regulated under a mandatory industry code, the Franchising Code of Conduct, since 1 July 1998 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 commenced on 1 January, 2015.
For information about the recent amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) which apply to the Private Sector from 11 March, 2014 please see the Stephens Lawyers and Consultants Private Sector Privacy Information Sheet – Privacy Act 1988– From 11 March 2014
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. [read more]