Region: Australia

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

What is patentable in Australia? The ACIP reports

The Australian Advisory Council on Intellectual Property recently released its report on patentable subject matter. The review undertaken arose from a recommendation made by the Australian Law Reform Commission in 2004 when it stated that “manner of manufacture”, the key concept of patentable subject matter in Australia, was ambiguous and obscure.

02 March 2011

A right to damages despite no infringement?

A recent decision of the Supreme Court of Victoria raises some novel issues concerning the criminal provisions of the Trademarks Act, and illustrates how brand owners can use trademark law to make life difficult for parallel importers.

16 February 2011

Rights when automation plays a major role in creation

The Full Federal Court recently determined whether a literary work which was substantially compiled by automation met the requirements for copyright protection. It considered that although there was substantial effort, including intellectual effort by many employees in the collection phase, their efforts had no influence on the actual material form of the work.

02 February 2011

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