Recent Cases Pty Ltd v Hardingham [2022] HCA 39 (14 December 2022) (Kiefel CJ, Gageler, Gordon, Edelman and Steward JJ)


Contract – Informal agreements – Implied term – Inferred term – Copyright – Where real estate agencies informally commissioned professional photographer and his company to take photographs and prepare floor plans of properties for use on platforms concerning marketing of properties for sale or lease – Where photographs and floor plans provided to each agency were uploaded to platform operated by Pty Ltd (“REA”) – Where REA’s terms and conditions provided that agency granted licence to REA to use and sub-license copyright in photographs and floor plans – Where REA sub-licensed copyright in photographs and floor plans to RP Data Pty Ltd (“RP Data”) – Where RP Data kept photographs and floor plans from historical sales on subscription website –Whether agencies’ licence and right to grant sub-licence limited to period of marketing campaign for sale or lease of property.

Words and phrases – “all the circumstances”, “business efficacy”, “copyright”, “implied term”, “inferred term”, “informal contract”, “intention”, “licence”, “mutual understanding”, “objective theory of contract”, “reasonable person”, “words and conduct”.