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The limits of secrecy

The High Court has read down a statutory secrecy provision that purported to shield information from production to a court on judicial review. In doing so, it has confirmed that s 75(v) of the Constitution protects more than simply the right to commence proceedings for judicial review.

A Cartel Case Gets Washed Away

Just before Christmas last year Wigney J dismissed a cartel case in which the ACCC alleged that Cussons (and the other major laundry detergent manufacturers) had colluded when they simultaneously transitioned all their detergent products from a standard formula to an ‘ultra-concentrated’ formula (with concomitant repackaging and re-pricing). The case is on appeal.

Drugs in thoroughbred racing still in the limelight

The Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Racing Victoria Limited v Kavanagh addresses the state of knowledge required of a trainer to establish an administration offence under the Rules of Racing. The decision will be of interest to those following one of the biggest horse doping scandals in Australian history involving trainers with links to the Aquanita Racing stables.

Security of Payments update: High Court affirms scope of review limited to jurisdictional error

The High Court has handed down its decisions in the second and third cases concerning Security of Payments legislation to come before it. In Probuild v Shade Systems and Maxcon v Vadasz, the High Court affirmed that in New South Wales and South Australia, review is available for jurisdictional error but not for error of law on the face of the record.

Similarities, not differences, the key to “substantial identity”

The Full Court of the Federal Court recently clarified the way in which the “side by side comparison” of trade marks is to be carried out in order to determine whether the two marks are substantially identical.

The clarification occurred in the context of an opposition to the registration of a trade mark pursuant to s 58 of the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) (TMA).  However, the Full Court’s clarification will have broader relevance as the question of whether a mark is substantially identical to another arises in several other sections of the TMA (for example sections 44, 120 and 122).