Region: Australia

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

Alternative legislative options in the gene patent debate

The patenting of genetic technologies and its impact on both the provision and cost of healthcare and progress in medical research have been the cause of much debate. The recent Senate committee inquiry appeared unwilling to recommend major changes to legislation to prohibit gene patents. However, alternatives to banning DNA and related technology from patentability can be found in the Patents Act.

15 December 2010

Outlawing of gene patents remains on political agenda

The gene patent controversy continues to enjoy political momentum in Australia, despite some recent indications that it may have been placed on the backburner. Significantly for companies involved in the development of genetic technologies, the case against gene patents appears to be gaining the upper hand in the ongoing public debate.

17 November 2010

To sue or not to sue (but amend the claims first)? That is the question

Where there is a real risk that a claim will be found invalid during infringement proceedings, the patentee must decide whether to sue for infringement (and try to amend the claims before the court during the infringement proceedings), or to amend the claims before instituting proceedings (where the amendments are dealt with by the Patent Office).

13 October 2010

Ownership of designs in an employment relationship

The Federal Court recently held that an employee and his company were entitled to be the registered owners of various rainwater tank designs which the employee's employer had argued were created during the course of his employment. This case highlights the importance of a detailed written employment agreement addressing the issue of ownership of any intellectual property created.

15 September 2010

When did your patent portfolio last have a health check?

Like all other assets, intellectual assets require proper care and maintenance. In the case of patents, there is more to this than just paying periodic renewal fees. Aside from managing the content of your patent portfolio to ensure that it has continuing relevance to your commercial strategy, you must also review your important patent assets to ensure that they remain valid and useful.

25 August 2010

The Australian innovation patent: the "perfect storm" loses a little wind?

The Australian innovation patent has a number of real advantages when considering a holistic view of protection for an invention. In practice, these have led to innovation patents being extremely difficult to invalidate. However, a recent decision provides a reminder that there are limitations as to how robust an innovation patent can be considered to be.

11 August 2010

Why the Bilski decision matters in Australia

Innovative Australian companies that do business in the United States can take comfort from the recent US Supreme Court decision in <i>Bilski</i>, which confirmed the availability of patent rights for processes generally and did not exclude business processes and methods.

21 July 2010

Gene patents under the microscope

The Senate Community Affairs Committee has again extended the reporting time for the Gene Patents Enquiry.The decision may well reflect the fact that a consortium has lodged an application in the Federal Court of Australia against four companies seeking revocation of the Australian patent that protects the breast and ovarian cancer marker genes BRCA1 and BRCA2.

30 June 2010

Getting your design protection into shape

Are you considering the manufacture of products intended for the Australian market? If so, design registration can be a useful, relatively quick and cost-effective form of formal IP protection. Design registration provides a monopoly right in the aesthetic appearance of a two-dimensional or three-dimensional design used in relation to a product.

16 June 2010

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