In the field of intellectual property, the interplay between trade marks and patent claims is very rarely discussed, given the distinct scope of protection provided by each. In Australia and New Zealand, patent examiners tend to raise an immediate clarity objection when a trade mark finds its way into a claim. This concern arises from the fact that a trade mark is an identifier of origin, and products bearing them can undergo variations across jurisdictions and time frames. This makes the intended scope of the claim unclear in many situations. Consequently, Australian and New Zealand examiners commonly raise objections based on clarity when trade marks feature in patent claims during the examination process.Read More
By Rachel Young and Nigel Lokan
The Australian Patent Office has commenced a public consultation on their proposed changes to examination practice, as a result of the recent High Court decision in D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc¹.
As reported in our earlier blog² the High Court unanimously decided that claims directed to an isolated nucleic acid coding for mutant or polymorphic BRCA1 polypeptide were not patentable subject matter.
In a recent decision the Australian Patent Office has rejected applications to extend the term of three patents related to the highly successful anti-inflammatory drug HUMIRA.
The patents are part of a family in which extensions of term had been granted in connection with earlier patents. These earlier extensions were based on the initial listing of HUMIRA on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Prior to commencement of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012, which came into effect in April 2013, the Australian Patent Office was inundated with requests for examination from applicants wishing to have their applications examined under the current law.
This flood of examination requests led the Patent Office to last year advise that first examination reports would likely issue, on average, about 19 months after examination is requested. We have recently been advised by the Patent Office that the backlog of applications awaiting examination is starting to clear and that examination reports are now issuing, on average, about 16 months after examination is requested. Read More
A recent decision of the Australian Patent Office has underscored the importance of acting promptly and diligently at all times when preparing evidence in patent oppositions.
In this case the patent applicant was unable to complete and serve its evidence-in-support and sought an extension of time in which to do so. The Commissioner’s delegate considered the conduct of the patent applicant throughout the period provided for service of the evidence and decided that the patent applicant had not acted promptly and diligently at all times. Read More