Security for legal costs in cross-claims for patent invalidity

The usual position in relation to security for costs in disputes before the Federal Court of Australia is that a respondent (including a cross-respondent) may make an application for security for its legal costs to insulate itself if it is successful in defending the allegations made by an applicant against it.  What is the situation regarding security for costs where a respondent ‘cross-claims’ for revocation of a patent because it alleges that it is invalid and should never have been granted in the first place? [Read more…]

Use of a competitor’s confidential information

Many businesses try to increase market share by employing a competitor’s member of staff who may bring with them relationships and information acquired over the years.  Employees owe fiduciary duties to their employers meaning, among other things, that an employee cannot make a personal gain by using confidential information acquired in the course of their employment.  If an employee makes a personal gain by using their employer’s confidential information, the employer may be entitled to an account of profits, meaning the employee must pay the employer the amount of profit made as a result of the breach. [Read more…]

Is your patent being infringed?

A patent grants the owner (Patentee) exclusive rights to exploit the patented invention (as defined in the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Patents Act)) within Australia.  If another party uses the patent without the authorisation of the Patentee, they will infringe.  In this article we consider the high level issues to consider when attempting to determine whether a patent has been infringed. [Read more…]

Copyright protection time limits change

On the 22 of June 2017, the Australian Government passed the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Act 2017 (Act), which introduced major changes to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) that aim to simplify how long materials can be protected by copyright laws.  From 1 January 2019, changes to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) will apply to all literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works (Works), sound recordings and films that are not made public before 1 January 2019, or that are created or made public on or after 1 January 2019.  [Read more…]

Patent revocation for lack of novelty

One of the often cited requirements for a patent to be granted, is that the invention as claimed must be ‘novel’ in light of the information of the day (referred to as the prior art and the common general knowledge) (section 18(1)(b)(i) of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth)(Patents Act)).  Put simply, if its been done before, chances are that it may lack novelty.   Therefore, if a patent, when viewed against the prior art and common general knowledge does not disclose an invention that is novel, it cannot be said to contain the required feature of novelty. [Read more…]

Patents and the thresholds for registration

A patent provides exclusive rights during its term to exploit the patented invention.  In Australia the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Patents Act) protects intellectual effort by granting exclusive rights, during the term of the patent, to exploit an invention and to authorise other persons to exploit it.  The owner is entitled to defend the patent against infringement from third parties in the patent area – which in the case of Australia is the Commonwealth of Australia – during the term of the patent. [Read more…]

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