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Ecommerce and intellectual property lawyers

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Legal solutions for online business services and protected information

Your business’s online presence depends on the integrity of your legal processes for day-to-day operations and large transactions. You may need specialist advice in a range of legal areas, especially;

  • Ecommerce
  • Intellectual property
  • Technology
  • Privacy
  • Data protection

We provide complete ecommerce and intellectual property legal services, supported by our commercial lawyers. It’s an effective way to help your business achieve its goals.

Contact us to learn more

Expertise

Our ecommerce and intellectual property lawyers have exceptional skills in a range of industry areas, including;

  • Ecommerce websites
  • Technology start-ups
  • Business franchises
  • Product manufacturers including pharmaceutical, health food, health technologies and medical equipment industries

Services

Many businesses have a broad range of needs and concerns. The legal services that support them must be responsive. The key features of our legal services are adaptability and our agility. Our legal team’s understanding of other commercial issues allows us to provide comprehensive support and advice. It’s a win for your business.

We’re skilled in;

  • Conducting due diligence investigations
  • Providing specialist legal support in large transactions
  • Service and consulting agreements for ecommerce and website operations
  • Agreements for the development, procurement or commercialisation of software, apps and other technologies
  • Trademarks and patents
  • Copyright advice, licensing issues and confidential information
  • Franchising advice
  • Collaborations, strategic alliances and joint ventures
  • Licensed product manufacturing, supply and distribution
  • Sponsorship and marketing arrangements, including celebrity endorsements
  • Advising about social media platforms
  • Privacy and data protection issues
  • Electronic marketing and Spam Act compliance and advice

Set-up your business properly, from the inside out

Contact us to discuss your ecommerce or intellectual property issue.

Ecommerce and intellectual property lawyers FAQs

Must I comply with the Privacy Act?

In Australia, the Privacy Act covers how organisations handle. It includes the collection, use, storage and disclosure of personal information.

The laws apply throughout Australia, although there are special rules for some public and private-sector organisations.

For privately operated businesses, the Act applies to those with an annual turnover of more than $3 million. For those small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $3 million, the Act won’t apply except in specific circumstances, for example, if the small business:

  • Operates another business which has a turnover of $3 million or more; or
  • Provides a health service or holds health information; or
  • Collects or discloses personal information for a benefit, service, or advantage; or
  • Is contracted by the Australian Government to provide services; or
  • Is a credit reporting body

However, even if the Act doesn’t apply to your business, we recommend implementing a privacy policy. The policy should set out what personal information your business collects and how it’s used. Suppose your business has a website with an international reach. In that case, you may also need a privacy policy to ensure compliance with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Contact us to learn more about Privacy Act compliance requirements.

What’s the difference between personal information and sensitive information?

The Privacy Act sets out rules and requirements for the collection of someone’s personal information. There are special requirements for sensitive information, so it’s important to understand the differences between the two. 

Personal information is information which can identify a person. It doesn’t have to be accurate, and it can be spoken or written. Some examples of personal information include an individual’s:

  • Name
  • Signature
  • Home or postal address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Medical records
  • Photographs
  • Voice, print, and facial recognition biometrics
  • Internet protocol (IP) addresses
  • Bank account details

Sensitive information is a category of personal information. It includes information or an opinion about an individual’s:

  • Race or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions or membership of a political association
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Membership of a professional or trade association
  • Sexual orientation or practices
  • Criminal record
  • Health and genetic information
  • Biometric information, or parts of such biometric information, including facial recognition, fingerprints or voice

Generally, sensitive information is more protected than other personal information. 

If you have questions or concerns about personal or sensitive information, contact us for advice.

What should I include in my organisation’s privacy policy?

If the Privacy Act applies to your organisation, it sets out the rules and requirements for how organisations collect and handle personal information.

Your organisation’s privacy policy must cover:

  • Why your organisation is collecting personal information
  • How it will use the information
  • To whom the personal information is disclosed
  • If relevant, that the individual can provide de-identified information
  • If relevant, that the individual can use a pseudonym
  • How the individual can access their personal information
  • How the individual can opt-out of direct marketing
  • That the individual has the right to ask for corrections to any inaccurate personal information
  • How an individual can complain if they believe their personal information is mishandled

We can help your organisation create a compliant privacy policy. Contact us to find out more.

When do I need to tell people that I’m collecting their personal information?

If your organisation is required to comply with the Privacy Act, you must take reasonable steps to notify the person of certain things. This is known as a collection notice. Australian privacy laws require you to provide the collection notice:

  • Before you collect their personal information; or
  • At the time of collecting their personal information; or
  • Soon after collecting the personal information (if this is possible)

You must also provide other information in the collection notice, including:

  • Your organisation’s name and contact details
  • That the information has been (or is to be) collected
  • The purpose of collecting the information
  • Whether the collection is required or authorised by law
  • Any consequences if the person refuses to consent to the collection
  • How your business usually discloses personal information
  • Information about your organisation’s privacy policy
  • Whether your organisation may give personal information to overseas recipients, and if possible, the countries where those recipients are located

In addition to the collection notice, if your organisation is required to comply with the Privacy Act, it must also have a privacy policy.

This requirement aims to ensure that a person has plenty of information about the collection. It allows them to make an informed choice about whether to provide the information. 

Contact us to learn more about privacy policies and collection notices.

Do I need to register a trademark for my new business?

A trademark identifies your product or service. It also distinguishes and protects it from your competitors’ products or services.

A registered trademark (for example, a trademarked logo or business name) protects your brand. It gives you exclusive rights to use the trademark. Merely registering a business name doesn’t provide this level of protection.

Sometimes, it isn’t easy to know whether to register a trademark. Ultimately, this will depend on how important brand identity and protection is to you and your business.

To work out whether to register a trademark, you may wish to consider:

  • Whether you plan to grow your business
  • Whether you have any concerns about competitors using your mark
  • What products or services you will be providing
  • How you will market and sell your product or services

Contact us for more information about trademark registration.

How do I protect my business’s confidential information?

Confidential information includes:

  • Trade secrets
  • Processes
  • Formulas
  • Methods

Confidential information can be your business’s most valuable asset, giving it a competitive advantage. One of the most important things you can do to protect your business is to protect the information and prevent it from being disclosed to your competitors.

You can use a confidentiality deed to keep your confidential information secret and help it retain its commercial value. You can ensure any third parties sign a deed before you disclose confidential information to them.

However, confidentiality deeds must be drafted carefully. They need to protect your business appropriately and have the means to enforce your rights if there’s a breach.

If your business has employees, their employment agreements must include confidentiality and non-compete clauses. These clauses restrain employees from engaging in conduct that competes with your business after their employment ends.

Contact us for more information about protecting your business’s confidential information.

If my employee creates something for my business, who owns the intellectual property?

Usually, as an employer, you will own any intellectual property created by your employees in the course of their employment. However, to avoid potential legal issues, you need to be clear about the scope of the employee’s duties. Preferably this should be detailed in their employment contract or agreement. Otherwise, there’s possible uncertainty over whether the intellectual property was created in the course of employment.

One way to prevent confusion is to have robust clauses in employment agreements that set out:

  • Who owns the intellectual property created throughout the employee’s employment; and
  • Appropriate confidentiality and non-compete clauses

Contact us for more information about protecting your intellectual property through employment agreements.

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