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DCC Insights (Issue 8) showcases the latest IP and legal articles, industry updates, and DCC news and events.



New Aussie Domain Name

A new type of Australian domain name, .au (as opposed to, for example,, will be available from 24 March 2022. On that date, new .au domain names that do not already match an existing Australian domain name will be available for eligible Australian individuals, businesses or organisations to register. Owners of existing Australian domain names who wish to own the .au equivalent must submit a priority application between 24 March 2022 and 24 September 2022 or risk the .au domain name being registered by another entity. We discuss who will be eligible to own a .au domain name, how competing priority claims will be handled and what you can do now to prepare for 24 March 2022. Read more here.



“Don’t be afraid” – it’s only a protest song

Midnight Oil have described their latest release, ‘Rising Seas’, as a direct protest against the Australian government’s current stance on climate protections and emissions targets. Although protest songs are not new, recent attempts have been made to suppress such public commentary by alleging intellectual property infringement. As there is no constitutional right to free speech under Australian law, protest songs and other forms of public commentary remain vulnerable to attack on other legal grounds, including potential IP breaches. We discuss several recent Australian attempts to use IP as a shield from public comment, and illuminate the boundary between appropriate public commentary on the one hand, and misrepresentation or misappropriation on the other. Read more here.

The future is here: NFTs & music merchandising in the digital arena

Friday 19 November 2021 is AUSMUSIC T-Shirt Day, a day to celebrate and raise funds for the Australian music industry through the medium of music merchandise. We take the opportunity to explore the latest craze in music merchandising: non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The number and value of NFTs have surged this year, with hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of NFTs being traded in 2021 in the music industry alone. We discuss the basics of NFTs, their relationship to IP and to the music industry, their appeal to artists and audiences, and answer some must-ask questions for every musician or fan looking to ‘mint’ or purchase an NFT. Read more here.


Patents to help power the world: tracing developments in solar energy capture, one patent at a time

Australia’s ‘technology-led’ approach to emissions reduction was the subject of some debate following the recent COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. With innovation taking centre stage in the race to net zero, we consider the role of patents in encouraging the inventions that promote sustainability, using solar energy capture as a case study. From the 7th century B.C., when sunlight was transformed into fire, to the photovoltaic systems used to power the International Space Station today, we track centuries’ worth of technological developments and the patents that assisted inventors along the way. Read more here.

Prior art in the age of COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we share information and has rapidly accelerated the dissemination of information globally. Although information sharing is critical for scientific and technological progress, it also creates risks for those wishing to pursue patent protection for their inventions. Increased information sharing has led to a growing bank of prior art and an increased risk of self-disclosure, potentially creating issues when it comes to establishing the novelty and inventive step (non-obviousness) requirements for patentability of an invention. Read more here.

Consumer Law

Playing ‘Green’ Games

The 2020 Olympics were greener than ever before (featuring a hydrogen-fuelled Olympic torch, recycled metal medals and cardboard beds), reflecting the International Olympic Committee’s decision to include sustainability and the environment as key criteria in evaluating potential host cities. The ‘green’ movement has also had a profound impact on businesses, with consumers and investors alike increasingly demanding that companies commit to greener practices. However, traders should beware that making false or misleading claims in relation to sustainability, a.k.a. ‘greenwashing’, can carry serious consequences. Read more about how best to avoid greenwashing here.


Industry Updates

DCC’s TMT Update

Our latest update of key developments in the areas of technology, media and telecommunications in Australia includes our reports on a High Court decision holding Facebook liable for defamatory content posted by third parties, as well as the ACCC’s proposal to address Google’s dominance in the digital advertising services industry. Read more here.