Creditors must actively enforce PPSR security interests

Written by rouse_admin on December 19, 2012

The Federal Court decision in Carson, in the matter of Hastie Group Limited (No 3) has highlighted the need for creditors to do more than simply register their interests on the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR).

When the Hastie Group, consisting of 44 companies which held plant and equipment across 37 different sites, entered into administration, the Administrators discovered 995 interests noted against the Hastie Group companies on the PPSR. Many of the descriptions in the PPSR were

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“Trust and Confidence” in Employment Contracts

Written by rouse_admin on December 19, 2012

The Federal Court recently awarded damages on the basis of an implied term of “mutual trust and confidence” arising from an employment contract.  This decision has major implications for employers.

THE FACTS

Mr Barker was an employee of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) who was made redundant.  At the time of Mr Barker’s employment, the CBA had a policy of redeploying employees to other positions as an alternative to redundancy wherever possible.  This policy was not incorporated into CBA employment contracts,

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Privacy Reforms Finally Passed

Written by rouse_admin on December 10, 2012

THE NEW LAW

The Federal Parliament passed major changes to Australian privacy law on 28 November 2012. The regime affects every business that collects “Personal Information”, which is defined by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) as any information that identifies a person or could be used to identify a person (‘Personal Information’). It is highly likely that your business is collecting such information.

The changes to the law will come into force in March 2014. This article will cover the most important

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Foreign Trademarks and Branding Your Business

Written by rouse_admin on November 9, 2012

After an almost 25-year delay, the US Manufacturer of Winnebago motor homes successfully enforced its intellectual property rights against an Australian company, Knott Investments Pty Ltd (“Knott”).

WINNEBAGO IN THE UNITED STATES

 Winnebago Industries Inc (“Winnebago”) has traded under the Winnebago brand since 1959, manufacturing and selling its famous motor homes.  Since then, Winnebago has expanded into the United Kingdom, Europe and Canada.  On a trip to the US, the director of Knott encountered Winnebago motor homes, and from 1982 onwards, Knott

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Franchisor Liability Around Projections

Written by rouse_admin on November 9, 2012

THE CASE

A recent Victorian Court of Appeal decision awarded Ross and Sue Pollard (“Franchisee”) $1.22 million in damages against Bill Baxter’s (Franchising) Pty Ltd (“Franchisor”). The Franchisor operates 21 stores throughout Australia and is now in provisional liquidation.

The Franchisor sued the Franchisee, who terminated the Franchise Agreement after the business sustained losses and was unable to pay the franchise fees of $250,000. The Franchisor accepted the termination as repudiation of the contract and sued for the recovery of unpaid royalties

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The 7 Key Legal Considerations for Online Business

Written by rouse_admin on November 2, 2012

This article outlines some critical legal issues that you must consider if you are taking your business online. If you are reading this article from the perspective of an established business, skim sections 1 – 2, but be sure to read sections 3 – 7 carefully. If you started your online business recently or are looking to begin soon, all of the sections below are very important.

1. CHOICE OF ENTITY AND ESTABLISHMENT

The most common business vehicle that entrepreneurs choose in

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Do You Know Where Your Data Is?

Written by rouse_admin on October 9, 2012

If your business collects information about customers and stores it electronically, this is an important article to read.

The march of cloud computing is well underway.  Increasing numbers of Australian businesses are storing data “offsite”, and for many businesses, “offsite” also means “offshore”.  Some of the most advanced data hosting services are located outside of Australia, Amazon being the notable example.  The efficiencies of cloud computing are clear from a commercial perspective, but many people are unaware that storing (or disclosing)

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Google Challenges Misleading or Deceptive Conduct Findings in High Court

Written by rouse_admin on October 3, 2012

Google has been subject to scrutiny over its search results in the US, France, Belgium and the EU – however, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the first regulatory body to seek legal clarification around Google’s conduct from a trade practices perspective.

FEDERAL COURT – FIRST JUDGEMENT

The ACCC commenced proceedings against Google in November 2007 alleging that by failing to adequately distinguish advertisements from search results, Google had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct.  The ACCC based its case

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Liability for User-Generated Content on Facebook

Written by rouse_admin on September 5, 2012

A large number of businesses use brand pages on Facebook as a marketing tool, however, these pages are often forgotten by the creator.
The Advertising Standards Board (“ASB”) was recently called upon to review the content on the official Smirnoff Vodka page on Facebook.  The complaint related to various comments and photographs uploaded by Smirnoff and members of the community regarding inappropriate language, race and gender discrimination, as well as inappropriate content on alcohol consumption.

DEFINITION OF ADVERTISING/MARKETING COMMUNICATION

Under the Advertiser Code

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Contractors, Employees & Sham Contracting

Written by rouse_admin on August 28, 2012

Hiring personnel with contractor agreements is a useful practice for businesses, however, when you are establishing a contracting arrangement, there are a number of legal issues that you should consider.  One of these is “sham contracting”, which is labelling workers contractors when they are actually employees.

WHAT IS A “SHAM CONTRACT?

The Fair Work Act 2009 prohibits sham contracting, and defines it as:

misrepresenting an employment relationship as an independent contractor arrangement;
misrepresenting a proposed employment relationship as an independent contractor arrangement; or
dismissing (or

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