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. Katarina Klaric gave a presentation at the 2018 ANZ Smart Manufacturing, 3D Printing and Industry 4.0 Forum held in Melbourne on 28 – 30 November, 2018, during the Panel Session ‘Future of Manufacturing: The Emerging Legal Challenges”. Katarina presented on the topic of “Developing measures to protect valuable intellectual property and safeguard against thefts, digital industrial espionage and sabotage“.
2. Katarina Klaric presented a paper at the Risk Management Leaders Forum held in Melbourne on 30 – 31 August, 2018 on the topic of ‘Privacy and Data Protection‘.
3. Julian Stephens chaired the annual Legalwise seminar ‘Shareholder Agreements:Practical Drafting and Financial Issues‘ held in Melbourne on 7 March, 2018.
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
Data breaches involving individual’s personal, medical and financial/credit information can result in reputational damage and financial losses, particularly where the breaches result in identity theft. The Australian privacy law provides for an individual affected by a data privacy breach to seek compensation from the organisation involved in the breach. Stephens Lawyers & Consultants provides a review of the compensation awarded in determinations made during the years 2016-2018 by the Office of the Australian Information Privacy Commissioner in relation to privacy breaches and some of the factors taken into account by the Privacy Commissioner in awarding compensation and costs. [Read more…]
Businesses offering food for retail sale in Australia must comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016 (which became mandatory on 1 July 2018) and the Australian Consumer Law. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC“) is undertaking surveillance checks on food products to ensure businesses are correctly labelling food products and the ACCC can take enforcement action for non-compliance. Australian Courts have also imposed substantial penalties where false or misleading representations have been made in the labelling and advertising of food products. [Read more…]
Privacy compliance and data breach risk management is too often not taken seriously by Australian organisations. The complexity of organisational structures and IT business systems in many instances results in management not knowing what data is collected by whole of business and how the data is managed. Many data breaches result from human error and can be avoided by appropriate ongoing staff training in data protection and privacy compliance and handling of information. [Read more]
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]