Region: Australia

Extending the deadline to claim Paris Convention priority

A recent decision of the Australian Designs Office confirmed that an extension of time to claim convention priority is possible under the Designs Act. However, it clarified that there are onerous grounds to establish how the error or omission occurred and how it resulted in the relevant act not being completed.

14 September 2011

Are Australia and New Zealand the same? Patentability and computer programs

Draft examination guidelines recently developed by the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand highlight a marked distinction in how the patentability of inventions is viewed in Australia and New Zealand. With the proposed changes, it seems that the protection of computer programs in both countries will become diametrically opposed.

03 August 2011

Does the mere naming of a chemical compound destroy novelty?

It is well established in Australia that a claim will lack novelty if each essential feature is disclosed in a prior art document. What remains less clear, however, is the level of disclosure required to destroy novelty, particularly in chemical cases. The apparent tension between the existing lines of authority is now set to come under the judicial spotlight again in <i>Albany Molecular Research v Alphapharm</i>.

20 July 2011

Should you renew a trademark that you're not using?

A trademark is one of the most cost-effective assets of a business. However, a prudent owner of an intellectual asset never spends money on it unless the cost of doing so is justified by the needs of the business in which it is used. If an asset such as a trademark is not being used, it should not be renewed - should it?

06 July 2011

Raising the bar on inventive step

Australia currently measures inventive step with reference to an imaginary person skilled in the art in Australia. Although developments in case law have sought to extend the test to cover common general knowledge outside Australia where an art is “global”, the statutory test is about to change as the government has recognised that the current test is too limiting.

29 June 2011

Getting tough on imitators

The Advisory Council on Intellectual Property recently carried out reviews looking at post-grant patent enforcement strategies and the enforcement of plant breeders' rights. The reviews found that owners of patents and plant breeders' rights encounter significant barriers when enforcing their rights, and made a number of recommendations to address the issues raised.

15 June 2011

Copyright law amendments shut down litigation options for proprietary drug owners

Following approval of the Therapeutic Goods Legislation Amendment (Copyright) Bill 2011 by the Senate, Australian consumers and health professionals will have more ready access to generic drugs, but proprietary drug companies will have fewer options in the twilight years of patent protection for shutting down access to Australian markets by generic medicines.

01 June 2011

Aligning the IP systems of Australia and New Zealand

For many years there has been a high level of cooperation between the Australian and New Zealand governments. In this spirit, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key recently committed to establishing a joint patent examination system between the two countries. This initiative is part of the Single Economic Market outcome framework.

18 May 2011

Providing better access to pharmaceuticals for countries in need

The government has announced its intention to empower the Australian courts to grant compulsory licences to manufacture and export patented pharmaceuticals to countries suffering medical epidemics and other health crises. While this news represents a potential windfall for the Australian pharmaceutical industry, questions arise as to how the government will ensure that a pharmaceutical exported under the system is not diverted to other markets.

06 April 2011

IP Australia curbs prosecution delay tactics

The Australian Patent Office has implemented measures to expedite the resolution of divisional patent applications. The measures are directed at applications which, at face value, appear to be the re-filing of a parent (or grandparent) patent application with claims for which a ground of objection has previously been raised but not addressed.

23 March 2011

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