Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Scammers hit ASIC customers

Small businesses are a ready target for scammers, with the latest scam targeting innocent companies trying to do the right thing.

‘ASIC’ email scam
ASIC announced today that scammers pretending to be from ASIC have been contacting Registry customers by email, requesting that they pay fees and provide personal information to renew their business or company name (click here to view an example of a scam email).  It has also been reported that these phishing emails may contain malware and links to invoices with false payment details.

ASIC has advised that emails are most likely to be a scam if they ask you to:
  • make a payment over the phone
  • make a payment to receive a refund, or
  • provide your credit card or bank details directly by email or phone. 
If you think you have received a scam email, ASIC has requested recipients to immediately forward the entire email to or contact ASIC on 1300 300 630.

Trade mark scam
Similar phishing emails are often sent to trade mark registrants asking them to provide personal information and pay fees associated with trade marks or domain names.  Further information is contained in our previous article on this scam (please click here to read).

Small business
The ACCC Scamwatch website contains useful information on common scams and steps you can take to protect your small business.

For enquiries, please contact:

Monday, 17 July 2017

Plant breeder's rights now apply in Norfolk Island

As of 1 July 2017, the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994 (Cth) (PBR Act) now applies in Norfolk Island.  The PBR Act provides a system of registration and exclusive commercial rights for new plant varieties.

Norfolk Island is a small island off the coast of Australia, located approximately 1,600km northeast of Sydney between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.  The island is part of the Australian Commonwealth and has many unique historical relics and native flora and fauna species.

Norfolk Island previously had no system for protecting new plant varieties; however Australia’s other intellectual property systems applied there.

The change is part of the Australian Government’s reforms in Norfolk Island and aims to provide residents with the same rights as those in other parts of Australia.  The application of the PBR Act will assist with fostering plant breeding and innovation on the island.

For enquiries please contact:
Belinda Breakspear
Alex Hutchens
John Kettle
Paul McLachlan

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

EU data protection laws overhauled - does this affect my business in Australia?

If you have an establishment in the European Union (EU), offer goods and services in the EU, or monitor the behaviour of individuals in the EU, then the answer is probably yes, and you should certainly read on.

The new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25 May 2018, and for many businesses all around the world, is driving a focus on understanding and updating their data handling practices to ensure they are ready to comply.  This is because not only can the GDPR apply to businesses outside of the EU, but there are also significant penalties for non-compliance (up to €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover for the preceding financial year in certain circumstances).

So, with a little over 10 months to go before the new regime applies, we recommend that Australian businesses think about whether they are caught, and if so, start planning for the legal and operational changes that are required to comply with GDPR.