Digital disruption hits IP lawyers

By Felicity Nelson|07 September 2015

As the digital revolution transforms Australian industry, intellectual property practices that are able to adapt will succeed, according to an Australian Law Awards finalist.

“The Australian economy is experiencing the most fundamental structural change in a century,” Gilbert + Tobin’s IP team wrote in their awards submission.

“Digital disruption is transforming [the economy] from physical industries, like mining, to one based on knowledge and innovation. Only IP practices that have this focus and can adapt are likely to prosper.”

G+T’s 24-member IP team is a finalist in the Intellectual Property Team of the Year category.


The team said that the previous distinctions between digital and non-digital businesses and business units are breaking down.

G+T’s strategy is to focus on the “new digital economy” and transfer its skills tacking digital issues in one industry to very different industries to cope with similar challenges.

Over the past year, for instance, G+T acted for the Australian recording industry to determine royalty rate payable for streaming of radio programs over the internet by commercial radio stations.

The team also maintains a blog on current issues in IP.

Another finalist in the IP category, Sparke Helmore Lawyers, aims to provide a cost-efficient value proposition for clients.

Over the past year the team acted in a number of cases in the High Court, Federal Court and Supreme Court.

The team has experience working with diverse industries including broadcasting, engineering, manufacturing, biotech, chemical, military and information technology.


The IP team at Ashurst, which was also a finalist, plays a role in Australian and global IP policy development through their involvement in the Law Council of Australia, International Trademark Association and AIPPI.

Other finalists in this category include King & Wood Mallesons and Wrays.

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Digital disruption hits IP lawyers
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