+61 (0)487 959 467 info@novarelegal.com.au

Welcome to Novare Legal

A boutique intellectual property, media and publishing, and commercial legal practice based in Melbourne, Australia

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About Novare Legal

Novare Legal is an innovative boutique legal practice delivering clients high quality and commercially focussed legal advice, without the structural constraints and overheads of traditional law firms.

We offer a broad range of commercial legal services with particular expertise in intellectual property protection, commercialisation and enforcement. We also specialise in related areas of law including media and defamation, technology, privacy, consumer protection and competition law.

Although experienced across a broad range of industry sectors, our particular passion is working with creative and innovative professionals and companies, notably in the advertising and marketing, media and publishing, fashion and consumer goods, retail and franchising, innovation and technology sectors.

Why “Novare”?

Novare” is derived from the Latin “novo” or “novus” translated as “new“.

With its conceptual association with freshness and innovation, “novare” encapsulates both our engagement with innovative and creative industries, and our approach to legal practice.  Our flexibility means that we can work with you in a manner that best suits your needs, including through on-line and after hours service delivery.

We pride ourselves on developing a collaborative working partnership with you.

yellow pencils graph


Kerin Forstmanis

Kerin Forstmanis

Director / Principal

As the founder and director of Novare Legal, Kerin brings 15 years of expertise gained working at top-tier Australian commercial law firms as an intellectual property, media and commercial law specialist. Her technical expertise is combined with a pragmatic solutions-driven approach gained from working closely with businesses as an in-house legal counsel at Lonely Planet Publications and CSIRO.

She delivers high quality, commercially orientated legal advice and representation.

Kerin works with clients from a broad range of industry sectors, most notably: media and publishing; FMCG, fashion and retail brands; franchising; research institutes; innovation and technology companies; and life sciences and pharmaceuticals.

Kerin assists clients with all aspects of intellectual property protection, enforcement and commercialisation.  In addition, Kerin has extensive experience with the following issues: consumer and competition law; defamation and media; e-commerce and technology; privacy; franchising; general commercial advice and contract preparation.

Outside of legal practice, you will more often than not find Kerin with a camera in hand.  Prior to becoming a lawyer, Kerin had a diverse career, working in both the publishing and travel industries.  Aside from her legal qualifications, she also holds degrees in journalism and tourism studies. She is a dual Australian and Latvian citizen, and a tragic Francophile.


Practice areas

Intellectual Property

Our expertise includes:

  • Brand protection and trade mark strategy
  • Trade mark searching, clearances and registration
  • Trade Mark Office oppositions and non-use actions
  • Domain and business names
  • Copyright and moral rights advice
  • Patent advice
  • Design advice
  • Confidentiality and trade secrets
  • Intellectual property assignments and licensing
  • Intellectual property commercialisation
  • Intellectual property due diligence, audits and strategy

Commercial law

Our expertise includes:

  • Competition and Consumer Act advice
  • Franchising and distribution advice and agreements
  • Media law advice
  • Confidentiality and trade secrets advice and agreements
  • e-Commerce and technology advice and agreements
  • Privacy and spam advice and compliance programs
  • Website terms and conditions
  • Research and development agreements
  • Clinical and other trial agreements
  • Consultancy and commissioning agreements
  • Contract preparation, review and negotiation
  • Due diligence and M&A deals

Dispute Resolution + Litigation

Our expertise includes:

  • Copyright infringement disputes
  • Trade mark and passing off disputes
  • Domain name and cybersquatting advice and disputes
  • Patent infringement and revocation disputes
  • Design infringement and revocation disputes
  • Intellectual property ownership disputes
  • Franchise and distribution agreement disputes
  • Breach of confidence disputes
  • Search (Anton Piller) Orders
  • Defamation, contempt and suppression orders
  • General contractual disputes
  • Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

Find out more about our expertise in specific industries below


sale sign on shop

Advertising + Marketing

  • Trade practices and consumer law advice and litigation
  • Agency and consultancy agreements
  • Advertising and labelling requirements
  • Advertising and promotion clearances
  • Competition and promotions advice
  • Talent agreements
  • Sponsorship and endorsement agreements
  • Consumer complaints
  • Social media advice
  • e-Commerce and direct marketing advice
  • Privacy and spam advice, policies and compliance

creative desk

Commercial + Creative Arts

  • Copyright advice and litigation
  • Copyright assignments
  • Moral rights advice and waivers
  • Image and content licensing
  • Stock library terms of use
  • Property/model releases and advice
  • Commissioning agreements
  • Rights clearances

retail shop

Consumer Goods, Fashion + Retail

  • Franchising, licensing and distribution advice and arrangements
  • Supply agreements
  • Merchandising and promotional agreements
  • Anti-counterfeiting advice and litigation
  • Parallel importation advice and strategy
  • Brand protection and trade mark registration
  • Consumer protection advice and litigation
  • Product labelling advice and clearances
  • Copyright and design advice and infringement litigation
  • e-Commerce and online retail terms and conditions

yellow pills medicine

Life Sciences + Pharmaceuticals

  • Provision of infringement and validity advice
  • Patent infringement and revocation litigation
  • Patent ownership disputes
  • Clinical trial agreements
  • Collaborative research agreements
  • Therapeutic goods advertising advice
  • Labelling and packaging advice

colourful books

Media + Publishing

  • Book publishing and retailing: author contracts; distribution arrangements; sales and marketing advice
  • B2B deals: content licences (print and digital); custom publishing agreements; bulk sales; joint promotional deals
  • Content: permissions and model/property releases; licensing and assignments; rights clearances
  • Pre-publication clearances
  • Defamation and related issues
  • Electronic surveillance and privacy advice
  • Contempt and suppression orders
  • Film financing and production agreements

solar panels sunflower

Technology + Innovation

  • Website terms and conditions
  • Privacy Act snd Spam Act advice and compliance
  • User-generated content advice
  • e-Commerce/online shop agreements
  • Affiliate and linking arrangements
  • Software licensing and development agreements
  • IT infrastructure agreements
  • Master services agreements
  • Domain name and cybersquatting disputes
  • Research and development agreements
  • Trade secrets and confidentiality advice, agreements and enforcement
  • Technology transfer

News and views

Blogging and copyright myths

Blogging and copyright myths Lately I have run into professional (and not so professional!) bloggers advising others when and how they can use other people’s images and articles. Do some or all of these statements by bloggers, and other online users, sound familiar to... read more


Our approach

As a boutique legal practice without traditional large law firm overheads and infrastructure, we have the flexibility to offer clients cost-effective, alternative and value-based fee arrangements at significantly lower rates.

We don’t measure our time or value in 6 minute units (the traditional law firm billing model), which means we can take that extra time to get to know your business and commercial objectives.

Depending upon your business needs and commercial objectives, we can offer:

  • fixed or value-based fees for defined services
  • fixed monthly retainer
  • capped fees based on an agreed scope of work
  • hourly rate, if you prefer

Unlike traditional firms, we do not charge for local (Melbourne metropolitan) travel time, incidental photocopying or stationary, or telephone charges.


Get in Touch

Please complete the form*, or otherwise contact us as follows:

Phone: +61 (0)487 959 467

Email: info@novarelegal.com.au

*Sending information via the form does not mean that we will necessarily be able to work with you. For example, we must firstly ensure that we do not have any conflicts of interest.  For this reason, please only send a short message and do not include detailed or confidential information about your issue.  We will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

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