Business blooms for one trade mark owner as “FLOWERS FOR ALL” has been deemed distinctive enough to be registered as a trade mark in Australia.Read More
The High Court of Australia’s recent decision Calidad Pty Ltd v Seiko Epson Corporation  HCA 41 (Calidad) has more closely aligned Australian patent law with its U.S. and European counterparts. Key takeaways from this decision are:
- the ‘doctrine of exhaustion of rights’ has replaced the ‘implied licence doctrine’;
- a patent owner’s exclusive rights are extinguished by the first sale of the patented goods;
- innovators have greater scope to reuse products without risking patent infringement; and
- patentees seeking greater control over post-sale use should do so through contract law.
On 7 October 2015, the High Court of Australia (High Court) issued its decision in the long running dispute concerning Myriad Genetics, Inc.’s (Myriad) patent relating to an isolated nucleic acid coding for mutant or polymorphic BRCA1 polypeptide. Mutations in the BRCA1 gene can serve as indicators of a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.
In a unanimous decision, the High Court found that claims directed to the isolated nucleic acid are invalid on the basis that they are not a ‘manner of manufacture’ and therefore not patentable subject matter. The High Court took the view that the claimed invention would extend the scope of the concept of “manner of manufacture” and that this was not something which was appropriate for courts to do. In light of the High Court’s decision, it will be interesting to see whether there is a legislative response to this issue.
On 13 February 2015, the High Court of Australia (High Court) heard and granted Yvonne D’Arcy’s application for special leave to appeal the Full Federal Court of Australia’s (Full Federal Court) decision in D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc  FCAFC 115.
The unanimous decision of the five-judge bench of the Full Federal Court was that Myriad Genetics Inc’s patent claims directed to particular isolated BRCA1 genes were patentable subject matter in Australia.
Decision in Cantarella Bros Pty Ltd v Modena Trading Pty Ltd Clarifies Test for Distinctiveness of Trade Marks in Australia
This week, the High Court of Australia (High Court) handed down only its third decision considering trade mark issues since the enactment of the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth). This decision could make it easier to register foreign language words as trade marks.
We recently reported on the decision by a five judge bench of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia (Full Court) which found that Myriad Genetics Inc’s patent covering the isolated BRCA1 gene is valid. The Full Court unanimously rejected an appeal by Ms. Yvonne D’Arcy from a decision by Justice Nicholas at first instance. Read our alert here.
It is now being reported that Ms. D’Arcy has sought special leave to appeal the decision to the High Court of Australia (High Court).
Apotex Pty Ltd v Sanofi-Aventis Australia Pty Ltd & Ors  HCA 50
The High Court of Australia yesterday issued its long awaited decision in a dispute between Apotex Pty Ltd (Apotex) and Sanofi-Aventis Australia Pty Ltd and related entities (collectively, Sanofi) concerning Sanofi’s Australian patent entitled “Pharmaceutical for the treatment of skin disorders” (Patent). In summary:
- The majority (French CJ, Crennan, Keifel and Gageler JJ, Hayne J dissenting) held that assuming all other requirements for patentability are met, a method (or process) for medical treatment of the human body can be a “manner of manufacture” and therefore patentable for the purposes of section 18 of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Act). Read More