Region: Australia

Patent legislation – proposals for improving the IP system

IP Australia is continuing to consider various ways in which the Australian patent system can be improved. It recently released two new papers: “Streamlining the Patent Process” and “Flexible Search and Examination”. As with previously released papers, the intention is to create a more robust system which encourages and supports innovation in Australia.

09 September 2009

Guylian unsuccessful in attempt to register chocolate "seahorse" shape

The Federal Court of Australia has confirmed the Australian Trademarks Office's decision to reject an application to register well-known Belgian chocolatier Guylian's chocolate "seahorse" shape. The court held that the seahorse shape was incapable of distinguishing Guylian’s chocolate products.

26 August 2009

Copyright in compilations: the start of the Ice Age

The High Court of Australia has issued a landmark judgment in <i>IceTV Pty Limited v Nine Network Australia Pty Limited</i> regarding copyright in compilations and databases. The decision has significantly scaled back the scope of copyright protection for compilations.

12 August 2009

Getting the balance right

IP Australia is seeking comment on a number of proposed changes to the Patents Act 1990 directed at improving the patentability standards of Australian patents. Among other things, the consultation proposes changes to the inventive step threshold in order to align Australian practice with that of its major trading partners.

29 July 2009

Unregistrability of marks consisting of exact geographical indiciations

In a recent decision the Federal Court of Australia gave, for the first time, judicial interpretation of Section 61 of the Trademarks Act, which deals with the registrability of marks consisting of or containing recognised geographical indications.

08 July 2009

A controversial end for a controversial patent application

IP Australia recently announced the official lapse of Australian patent application 2004309300, which relates to a human embryonic stem cell line generated by the process of somatic cell nuclear transfer. The question has been raised of whether the patent application lacks utility; however, this particular issue is beyond the considerations required for examination.

17 June 2009

Utilising the Australian Customs Service to protect trademark rights

Brand owners are increasingly utilising the Australian Customs Service (ACS) to assist in keeping counterfeit goods from entering Australia by filing a trademark notice of objection with the ACS. Seizure of goods at the border can prevent, or at least substantially reduce, the amount of counterfeit products that are available for sale.

08 April 2009

Pharma losing ground in pharmaceutical patent extensions of term

In several recent court and Patent Office decisions previously granted patent extensions of term have been reduced by the court and the commissioner of patents in light of information brought to their attention. Such decisions have provided interpretation of aspects of the provisions of the Patents Act 1990 relating to extensions of term of pharmaceutical patents.

18 March 2009

Anti-ambush marketing legislation – does it work?

The Australian government recently released a report on the effectiveness of specific legislation enacted to enhance protection against ambush marketing associated with the staging of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 and in relation to Australia's ongoing participation in the International Olympic Committee.

25 February 2009

Is the presence of overseas trademarks on the shelves enough to constitute use?

A recent Federal Court decision that a small number of sales of a particular wine did not constitute adequate use came as a shock to many international trademark owners and has led them to question whether the use of their trademarks in Australia would be sufficient to overcome a potential non-use action.

21 January 2009

Unlock unlimited access to all IAM content