Use Federal Stimulus to Protect Intellectual Property

/ Madderns / News

The Federal Government this month announced an increase in the instant asset write-off threshold, which presents an opportunity for businesses in defence and space, to biotechnology and health.

The announcement, as part of the Government’s COVID-19 stimulus package for businesses, increases the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and has been expanded to include businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million. Previously, the turnover had been $50 million.

The changes came into effect on 12 March until 30 June this year and applies on a per-asset basis.

South Australian companies are becoming increasingly recognised in defence, space, biotech and health and medical technologies. South Australia is home to leading centres of excellence like Tonsley Innovation District, Lot Fourteen, Edinburgh Parks and BioMed City – employing many of our State’s brightest to create new technologies and advancements in many fields.

The government’s announcement presents an ideal opportunity to take advantage of threshold changes to properly protect IP, such as patents, registered designs and copyright.

For further information, please see the following link: Media Release – Use Federal Stimulus to Protect Intellectual Property

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Say goodbye to your “Feta” cheese and “Kalamata” olive oil

/ Michael Dow / News

The Australian Government is negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU). As part of the FTA, the EU wants a variety of geographical indications (GIs) to be protected.

A GI indicates that a product comes from a specific geographical area. Use of a GI may indicate that the product was made according to, eg, traditional methods or may indicate a certain reputation. An example is “Champagne”, which refers to the specific region of France known for its sparkling wine.

The EU is looking for protection of a specific list of GIs (236 spirit names and 172 agricultural and other foodstuff names) which includes the names such as: “Camembert de Normandie” for cheese, “Καλαμάτα or Kalamata” for olive oil, “Φέτα or Feta” for cheese and “Scotch Beef” for meat. The EU has confirmed examples of where the protection it is seeking would not extend to the use of parts of EU GI names which are identified in the list by text that has been underlined. The complete list of names can be found here.

As well as seeking protection for the specific GIs, the EU is seeking broader protections that would prevent use of the GIs accompanied by an expression such as “style”, “type”, “method”, “as produced in”, “imitation”, “flavour”, “like” or similar, including when those products are used as an ingredient.

Accordingly, Australian cheese makers would no longer be able to sell cheese as “Feta” or even “Feta-style” or “Feta-like”. The same applies to “Kalamata” olive oil.

Seems like the EU is asking too much. Your thoughts?

If you have any objections, they can be made here and must be received by 6pm AEST Wednesday 13 November 2019.

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New Partners

/ Madderns / News

We are delighted to announce the promotion of Phillip Boehm and Kin Seong Long to Partner.

Phillip Boehm is an Australian and New Zealand Patent and Trade Mark Attorney within our specialist Engineering team.  Phil is a trusted IP advisor to his clients across mechanical engineering technologies, especially automotive, aeronautics, heavy transport and mining. Phil is noted by his clients for his pragmatic approach, and has a key mentoring  role within Madderns.

Dr Kin Seong Leong is an Australian and New Zealand Patent and Trade Mark Attorney within our specialist ICT team. With a strong technological background in communication systems and signal processing, especially in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems and applications, Kin is able to understand new inventions and advise clients of the best IP protection. Kin is fluent in Mandarin and is a member of our China Team, which provides specialist filing and prosecution services for patents, trade marks and designs in China, as well as strategic IP advice including anti-counterfeiting and litigation strategy for that jurisdiction.

Commenting on the promotions, Managing Partner Tom Melville said: “We are very pleased to welcome both Phil and Kin to the Madderns partnership. Both have gained a strong client following and recognition in their respective fields of expertise. They are known for teaming with their clients in protecting IP at home and in global markets.”

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Congratulations to Michael Dow – winner of the IPTA Institute Prize for 2018

/ Madderns / News

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Dr Michael Dow has won The Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia (IPTA) Institute Prize for 2018.

The Institute Prize is one of IPTA’s most prestigious awards with a long and distinguished history. It is awarded to a newly qualified candidate who has shown excellence in academic subjects and has best demonstrated that they have the potential to contribute substantially to the profession.

Michael joined Madderns in February 2013 after working as a research scientist in Australia and the United States. He studied at the University of Adelaide where he obtained a PhD in plant biotechnology, and previously at Flinders University where he obtained a Bachelor of Biotechnology with first class honours.

Michael is no stranger to success having been awarded a Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence from the University of Adelaide and receiving the University Medal for his academic achievements at Flinders University.

We are proud of Michael’s latest achievement, which we believe has resulted from Michael’s outstanding work and has been facilitated by the environment in which Madderns provides for its  trainees’ development.

Congratulations Michael!


Tom Melville

Managing Partner

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Australian eChallenge 2018

/ Madderns / News

Congratulations to VitaChar on winning first prize at the University of Adelaide’s Australian eChallenge awards, for most outstanding entrepreneurial venture of the year.

Madderns has been a sponsor of the Australian eChallenge since its inception 18 years ago and Partner Bill McFarlane has been a contributor each of those years to the IP education aspect of the competition. On Thursday evening 15 November 2018 at the formal awards ceremony VitaChar won the first prize in a high quality group of finalists in the competition. Bill was not only a Judge of the finalists he also gave a speech and presented the People’s Choice Award during the event. Madderns has and continues to be an active supporter of the Entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Australia.

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