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Seasons Greetings from Stratocumulus Legal

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Stratocumulus Legal.

Mid-year, the timing was right for me, notwithstanding the global pandemic, so came the soft launch of Stratocumulus Legal, and since then it has been a time of building and reaching out to my network.  

Thank you to those who have supported me through the year, and especially to the clients who have entrusted me so far with their work.  I’ve enjoyed getting out and meeting with people to talk things Intellectual Property, although of course this year has been a bit harder with the usual mingling after seminars and meetings gone, and instead not knowing who else is on the Zoom webinar. 

Moreover, especially over the last month or so, as end-of-year activity increases, I feel like I’ve been parenting (and ferrying around) my two kids much more than I’ve been lawyering.  Such is the life in a “flexible” solo practice, but it always reminds me of the two very important reasons why I took this path in the first place.  I’m not removing the tag “Super Dad” from my LinkedIn profile just yet!

I hope you enjoy my first Stratocumulus newsletter.

My Top 10 of IP in Australia in 2020

In the lead up to the end of the year, I’ve been releasing a series of 10 posts, setting out my Top 10 of Intellectual Property in Australia in 2020.  Despite most focus on the pandemic this year, it’s actually been a very busy year in IP law around Australia, with some important cases and new developments foreshadowed.

These are across a range of areas, from copyright reforms, patent “exhaustion of rights”, the peanut butter case with important lessons about unregistered trade marks, and very early signs of potentially significant future developments in Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property.

Stay tuned as I release these, 1 post per day, up until Christmas.  What did 2020 bring in IP, and what does it mean for 2021? 

Community & professional engagement

After many years of being a member of the Intellectual Property Society of Australia & New Zealand (IPSANZ), in October I joined the Western Australian committee, and look forward to contributing to the profession here in Perth over the next year. 

I have also just joined the committee of the Australia-Japan Society of Western Australia (AJSWA), and likewise look forward to contributing to the Australia-Japan community in Perth.

Stratocumulus Legal joined as an associate member of auDA, so that we can stay better informed and close to domain name policy in Australia.  (This is a free membership open to the public, and is well worth looking at if you also have an interest in domain names.)

What I’ve been reading

The Cloudspotters Guide” by Gavin Pretor-Pinney (2006)

I picked up this somewhat whimsical book about clouds, and humankind’s relationship with them, in an airport bookshop some years ago, but of course revisited it when it came to naming my practice.  Gavin Pretor-Pinney’s enthusiastic style makes water molecules in the sky take on a new life, and is bound to turn you too into a cloudspotter.  

His chapter on stratocumulus clouds reminds us that of all the clouds, stratocumulus has the greatest variation in appearances, ranging from duplicatus and radiatus to translucidus and undulatus.  The transition from one to another is bound to keep any cloudspotter on edge. 

If you’re keen enough, you can even join the Cloud Appreciation Society, set up by the author.

3 favourite articles posted to our website this year 

I try to keep the Stratocumulus Legal website active with articles and useful posts about current and emerging IP issues and their practical impacts.  Here are three in particular that are worth checking out.

Exhaustion of rights reinvigorates permissible use of patented products:  Patent owners can no longer use their patent to control the use of a patented product after sale, with the adoption of the “exhaustion of rights” doctrine in Australia. This will have significant impact on planned obsolescence of goods and toward permitting the repair, improvement and reconditioning of products and better facilitating the “right to repair”.

3D printing & the pandemic:  The COVID-19 pandemic has reportedly been something of a boon for the ongoing take-up of 3D printing, whether to make much-needed personal protective equipment, or because stretched supply chains have limited the availability of things like spare parts. The technology is already here, and now the necessity has come, so if you need to print out a widget, can you legally just do it?

IP & Transactions reference guide:  This free download from the Stratocumulus Legal website looks at common issues arising when dealing with IP assets, and is indispensable for letting commercial lawyers, in-house counsel, insolvency practitioners and business owners know when to seek focused IP advice when they are involved in a transaction to buy or sell business assets

I encourage you to have a browse through the Stratocumulus Legal website, and let me know of any topics that you would like to have covered.

Remember, I’m available to help with:

  • IP Audits & Reviews
  • IP Licensing
  • Trade mark applications and filing strategy
  • Online copyright infringement and take-down notices
  • Domain name disputes
  • IP training for your staff

I am more than happy to complement or integrate with existing legal teams to advise on niche issues or scope (eg. intellectual property issues) arising within larger matters. Small or discrete jobs welcome.  More details of our services are here.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our posts and articles at our website here.

If your organisation would like some IP training, or a presentation on the Top 10 in IP in 2020, please get in contact.

I look forward to working with you in 2021!

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