Monday, 19 October 2015

A not-so-safe harbour

It is impossible to avoid the frenzy that has been kicked up by the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) decision of 6 October 2015 in Case C-362/14 Maximillian Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner.

What is/was the Safe Harbour?

Like Australia, the Member States of European Union (EU) are subject to strict data protection regulations. Generally speaking, personal data cannot be transferred out of a Member State unless the destination country has adequate protection for the data in question. Over a decade ago, the United States of America (US) and European Commission entered into the ‘Safe Harbour Agreement’ which meant that data could be shared where both companies comply with the Safe Habour Agreement.

All was well and good and many big businesses (including Amazon and Google) relied on the enforceability and protection of the Safe Harbour Agreement.

Apple facing damages bill for patent infringement

Apple Inc could be facing up to $US862 million in damages after a US Federal jury ruled on 13 October 2015 that it infringed a patent owned by the licensing arm of the University of Wisconsin.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

High Court ruling on the patentability of human genes

Today’s landmark decision by the High Court in D'Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc & Anor [2015] HCA 35 (7 October 2015) essentially prohibits patent protection for human genetic material and genetic sequences.  The decision reverses the 15 February 2013 Full Federal Court ruling, which found that United States company Myriad Genetics Inc’s (Myriad) patent on the isolated BRCA1 gene, associated mutations and utilisation of the sequence for diagnostic purposes was valid.