Region: Australia

Gene patent opponents take the fight back to Parliament

Less than eight months ago the most recent attempt to legislate against so-called "gene patents" was effectively killed by a Senate committee report. Although the Intellectual Property Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012 has since been passed, opponents of gene patents remain unsatisfied. However, it has now been reported that there will be a new push to ban gene patenting through a private member's bill.

13 June 2012

A new treatment for business methods

Over the past two years the Australian Patent Office has issued a string of decisions rejecting applications for so-called "business method patents" on the grounds of unpatentable subject matter. The recent Patent Office decision of <i>Celgene Corporation</i> has been received with interest, as it marks a subtle departure from the prevailing Patent Office treatment of business method patents.

11 April 2012

Customs notices of objection – a powerful tool in an IAM strategy

Brand owners are becoming increasingly concerned about the quality of counterfeit goods imported into Australia. Customs assists brand owners in keeping counterfeit goods from entering Australia by enforcing notices of objection which are in place. Customs notices of objection can therefore be a powerful tool in any intellectual asset management strategy, especially if implemented early.

28 March 2012

Driving improved commercialisation outcomes for Australian research

Approximately 80% to 85% of the value of a company lies in its intellectual assets. However, intellectual assets other than intellectual property can be more difficult to identify. The corporate sector is beginning to appreciate that these other intellectual assets have potential value and is embarking on ways to identify and capture them.

29 February 2012

BOOST gets a boost

The Australian Trademarks Office recently decided in favour of Boost Juice Holdings Pty Ltd in its opposition to an application by Boost Foods Holdings Pty Ltd to register the mark BOOST FOODS. The BOOST FOODS application was rejected in its entirety, as Boost Juice had established the "reputation" opposition ground under Section 60 of the Trademarks Act.

18 January 2012

Preliminary skirmish concludes in Apple versus Samsung down under

The opening gambit in the Australian arm of the global dispute between Apple and Samsung has finally drawn to a close. The High Court of Australia refused Apple's request for special leave to appeal from a decision of the Full Bench of the Federal Court denying a preliminary injunction against the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

21 December 2011

Plain packaging tobacco products: is there a trademark issue?

As part of reforms to reduce smoking and the harmful effects of tobacco, the government has passed the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011. The act restricts trademarks from being placed on tobacco products or their retail packaging, thus preventing such trademarks from being used as a design feature to divert attention away from health warnings.

23 November 2011

Protecting biologicals down under

Following public consultation, the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee has concluded that the current patent system is adequate to allow access to genes and biological materials, making proposed amendments to the Patents Act unnecessary. Therefore, it recommended that Parliament should not pass the Patent Amendment (Human Genes and Biological Materials) Bill 2010.

09 November 2011

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

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