DCCL COVID-19 Resource Centre: Issue 7

DCCL COVID-19 Resource Centre: Issue 7

DCCL COVID-19 Resource Centre: Issue 7

This is our seventh publication of useful resources for our clients during the current coronavirus disruption. Our previous publications are available here. Clients are welcome to raise specific issues which they would like us to comment upon in future publications.

Navigating privacy issues involving contact tracing data: A checklist for Australian businesses

It has become commonplace during the COVID-19 restrictions for businesses to require contact tracing information from visitors to their premises. Information sought by businesses from visitors may involve just a name and contact details, or it might extend to temperature checks or particulars of symptoms which have become synonymous with the coronavirus. Our website article provides a 14-point checklist for businesses of issues of potential relevance to the collection and retention of such contact tracing information. 

In addition, Dr Gordon Hughes AM recently presented a webinar on this subject. A recording of the 16 July 2020 presentation can be viewed here.

Temporary changes to insolvency laws – statutory demands and insolvent trading in the context of COVID-19

In a recent webinar, Felicity Dalle Nogare and Melanie Davey discussed the temporary changes to Australian insolvency laws relating to insolvent trading and statutory demands that have been introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Commentary centred on issues relevant to director’s duties, considerations for creditors, and potential issues and uncertainties arising as a result of the temporary changes. A video of the 16 July 2020 presentation and the presentation slides are available here.

Electronic signatures and remote witnessing of documents in Australia

On 16 July 2020, Andrew Sutherland presented a webinar on the use of electronic signatures and witnessing documents remotely in light of new regulations that have been made in various Australian states in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19. A video of the presentation and the presentation slides can be viewed here. The presentation sets out in detail the circumstances in which a company or individual is able to use an electronic signature to execute a document or have a document witnessed remotely, which depends on several factors including the type of document being executed and the location of the signatory. This is also summarised on our website article here and previous articles on remote witnessing in NSW, the use of electronic signatures in Victoria, and the use of electronic signatures generally (prior to the new regulations being made).

Virtual hearings in the Federal Court of Australia – update

The Federal Court is continuing to limit COVID-19 related delays. Both shorter interlocutory and case management hearings, as well as longer multiple-day trials, are proceeding “virtually”, via Microsoft Teams. Applications for adjournment of “virtual” trials are likely to turn on whether an applicant is able to show that it would suffer real prejudice if the trial was to proceed virtually, rather than in person. Recent decisions considering whether or not trials should proceed “virtually” are summarised by us here.  

Making the screen your stage: Understand your IP rights when using online streaming services

The COVID-19 disruption has seen many forms of events, meetings and gatherings shift to online streaming platforms. The Melbourne International Film Festival, for example, has announced that it will be holding its 2020 festival online for the first time ever, and many musicians are also playing live gigs in front of webcams rather than packed crowds. Our website article (which was originally published in March of this year) sets out the rights that performers and content creators have when using online platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and SoundCloud, and details how artists can seek to protect their work online.

Intellectual Property Offices continue to offer relief

In Australia, users impacted by the COVID-19 disruption have been able to apply for “exceptional” extensions of time for most deadlines arising in relation to applications for Australian patents, trade marks and registered designs (but not for payment of renewal fees). These special extensions have now been made available until at least 31 August 2020. Further details are provided in Davies Collison Cave’s website article and IP Australia’s information page.

In addition, Davies Collison Cave’s dedicated website page provides a regularly updated summary of measures being taken by IP Offices around the world to deal with current disruptions.

Next Legal Update webinar: Thursday 30 July 2020

The next Davies Collison Cave Legal Update webinar will be held on Thursday, 30 July 2020 (5pm AEST; 9am CEST). The webinar will cover:

  • Continued operation of the courts in Australia, presented by Chris Jordan and Paul Dewar
  • Issues arising in contracts from companies in financial distress, and issues arising in IP licences, including licences for COVID-19 related technologies and compulsory licensing in Australia, presented by Rodney DeBoos
  • Innovation during the COVID-19 disruption, presented by Jacqueline Simpkin

Please click HERE to add the webinar login details to your calendar.

COVID-19 Legal Resource Team

If you have any queries, please get in touch with one of the principals in our COVID-19 Legal Resource Team:

Dr Gordon Hughes AM

Principal Lawyer

E: GHughes@davies.com.au

P: +61 3 9254 2582

View Profile

Craig Finlayson CTA 

Principal Lawyer 

E: CFinlayson@davies.com.au

P: +61 3 9254 2716

View Profile

Paul Dewar

Principal Lawyer

E: PDewar@davies.com.au

P: +61 2 9293 1048

View Profile

Previous article Telecommunications, Media And Technology (TMT) Law Update – Volume 34 Next article Telecommunications, Media And Technology (TMT) Law Update – Volume 33