Scintilla – a flash, a spark, an iota. Shorthand for creativity and an indicator of inventiveness under Australian law.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Are you affected by the new unfair contract terms legislation?

By Nadia Guadagno, Senior Associate

New legislation has just been enacted which extends unfair contract term protections in the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and ASIC Act to 'business-to-business' transactions which meet prescribed criteria.

Your contract will be covered by the new law if it satisfies each of the following.

1. It relates to the supply of goods and services, the sale or grant of an interest in land or financial services and products.

2. At least one of the parties to the contract employs fewer than 20 people (including casual employees employed on a regular and systematic basis) at the time the parties enter into the contract. The relevant number of employees is the number of employees of the legal entity that is a party to the contract. If a company has subsidiaries or other related entities the employees of those companies are not included in the head count.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

TPP comes in at 6000 pages. Here are the key bits.

By Claire McMahon, Associate

It's official – the negotiated text of the TPP has been released by DFAT, one month after the agreement was announced, but is still subject to legal review and authentication in each of the official languages. The agreement runs to more than 6000 pages. Because we know our readers are too busy to pick through that to find out how some of the most topical aspects of the IP chapter were resolved, we've summarised them here for you.

How the negotiations developed

Although the text is largely unchanged since the last WikiLeaks leak which we reported on last month, there has been a raft of changes across the history of the TPP negotiations. Sometimes this was due to shifts of position. In other cases, until the very end, parties stood firm on issues that really mattered, politically or economically. For instance, market access for agricultural products such as rice, dairy and sugar kept Japan, the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia locked in tight negotiations right down to the line.