Region: Australia

Is abolition or greater control of gene patents still on the parliamentary agenda?

The issue of the patent eligibility of genetic subject matter has been on the Australian patent radar for many years. However, the recent establishment of a much more conservative Parliament may result in a higher likelihood of success for legislation to exclude gene patents.

12 February 2014

High Court affirms that methods of treatment are still patentable in Australia

Recent years have presented significant challenges to the biotechnology sector, in both Australia and the United States, in terms of what types of technology should continue to be regarded as patentable subject matter. This has resulted in uncertainty in relation to the future of biotechnology patenting. Therefore, the High Court's recent affirmation that methods of treatment remain patent-eligible subject matter in Australia has been welcomed.

11 December 2013

Courts play host to NPE global licensing strategies

The patent system has received much critical attention recently due to the activities of patent 'trolls' or, less pejoratively, non-practising entities (NPEs). Much of the NPE-related patent litigation commenced to date has been in the United States. However, NPE Vringo Infrastructure Inc has now commenced litigation against Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer ZTE Corporation in Australia, among other countries.

13 November 2013

What am I buying? The integrity of certification labels

As consumers, we understand the power of branding and the value of trademarks. Increasingly, products now also bear certification labels claiming certain qualities or characteristics. Consumer confidence in these types of product claim depends not only on the integrity of the certification programme, but also on the integrity of the companies that use and apply certification labels.

04 September 2013

Overlap in copyright and design rights – are the governing laws inconsistent?

Sections 74 to 77A of the Copyright Act 1968 set out convoluted laws governing the enforceability of copyright when an artistic work is produced in commercial numbers. However, when the definitions of "design" in the Copyright Act and the Designs Act 2003 are compared, it is clear that there are significant discrepancies between the two, making it unclear whether Sections 74 to 77A can actually work.

24 July 2013

Karoun v Karoun: use of mark and obstacles to use reviewed

The recent Australian Trademarks Office decision in <i>Karoun Dairies SAL v Karoun Dairies Inc</i> has confirmed what will not amount to use and what will not amount to a relevant obstacle to use, in the context of a removal action. The decision makes it clear that a long-term intent to use is not enough to protect a registration from removal on the basis of non-use.

17 July 2013

Compulsory licensing and crown use of patents: report released

The Productivity Commission has released a report on the compulsory licensing provisions of the Patents Act. Compulsory licensing is becoming a sensitive issue internationally, particularly in relation to affordable healthcare. This review was endorsed by the Australian government following reviews on gene patents.

05 June 2013

Impact of Raising the Bar reforms on patenting behaviour

April 2013 was a frenetic month of patenting activity in Australia. New data from the Australian Patent Office illustrates the profound effect of recent patent law reform on the number of requests for examination. The spike in examination requests is likely to lead to a significant increase in the average time taken by the Patent Office to examine a patent application following a request.

29 May 2013

Google revises AdWords trademark policy: keyword advertising to go unchecked

Google will no longer monitor or restrict keyword advertising following receipt of trademark complaints in Australia and certain other countries. The announcement follows a recent decision of the High Court of Australia that Google was not responsible for the misleading use of the AdWords service by advertisers that paid Google to display their sponsored links in response to particular search terms.

17 April 2013

Functional ingredients: the past may come back to bite you!

A recent decision by the Full Bench of the Federal Court may have a far-reaching impact on the food technology sector in Australia. The case raises concerns for developers of food products with ingredients which impart beneficial functions other than supporting good nutrition.

10 April 2013

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