On 21 June 2022, the United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO) issued interim guidance on how the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) should exercise its discretion when determining whether to institute a post-grant proceeding.Read More
The issue of contributory infringement of a patent under the Australian Patents Act 1990 (Act) does not often arise for consideration by the Australian judicial system. When it does arise, the question of whether or not the product supplied is a ‘staple commercial product’ under the relevant provisions of the Act is always of particular interest.
In only a few cases has the impugned product been held to be a staple commercial product, and so any case that expands upon that product class is a particularly valuable aid. It is therefore of interest that the Full Court of the Australian Federal Court has recently considered contributory infringement in Hood v Down Under Enterprises International Pty Limited  FCAFC 69.Read More
In July 2021, Australia was thrust into the spotlight as a favourable country to patent AI-created inventions as a result of the Australian Federal Court’s decision in Thaler v Commissioner of Patents  FCA 879 – see our previous coverage here.
At first instance, the Court construed “inventor” as including “a person or thing that invents”.1 The decision was an appeal from a Patent Office hearing where the Office rejected a patent application in the name of Stephen L. Thaler as the creator of the “inventor”, AI system (Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience (DABUS)). As DABUS had autonomously generated the invention, for the purposes of the patent application Dr Thaler derived title to the invention from DABUS.Read More
Russia’s bold response to Western economic sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine now includes what amounts to legalizing patent theft against “unfriendly countries.” On March 5, 2022, the Kremlin issued Decree 299, which states that Russian companies and individuals can use inventions, utility models and industrial designs without owner permission or compensation, if the patent hails from a list of “unfriendly countries.”1 Specifically, the decree sets compensation for patent infringement at “0%” if the patent holder is a citizen of, is registered in, or has a primary place of business or profit in any of the 48 countries Russia previously designated as “unfriendly.”2 Unsurprisingly, the list includes the United States, Great Britain, European Union members, Australia, and other critics of Russia’s actions against Ukraine.Read More
Last month we wrote about the Full Federal Court’s decision in Commissioner of Patents v Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd  FCAFC 202 (Aristocrat), which concerned the patentability of computer implemented inventions (CIIs).
This month, the Full Court determined another appeal regarding CIIs: Repipe v Commissioner of Patents  FCAFC 223. The decision concerned two patent applications by Repipe Pty Ltd that disclosed systems and methods for providing information to field workers by way of a central computer server connected to a GPS-enabled mobile device (i.e. a smartphone). The applications were treated as the same for all relevant purposes at trial and during the appeal.Read More
The vexed issue of ‘patent eligibility’ for computer implemented inventions has raised its head again in Australia, this time in the Full Court of the Australian Federal Court decision of Commissioner of Patents v Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd  FCAFC 202. The decision expands upon principles for assessing the eligibility of computer-implemented technology, but the line between assessing eligibility and other aspects of patentability remains blurred.Read More
On Friday 29 October, the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (the “UKIPO”) launched a consultation entitled “Artificial Intelligence and IP: copyright and patents” (see here), which closes 11:45pm on 7 January 2022 (London time). The consultation forms part of the UK government’s ‘National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy’ (the “Strategy”), which followed the government’s 2017 Industrial Strategy publication.
The aim of the consultation is to determine the right incentives for Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) development and innovation, while continuing to promote human creativity and innovation.Read More
The Board of Directors of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority recently issued the DIFC Intellectual Property Regulations (IP Regulations). The IP Regulations took effect on 5 July 2021 and were issued pursuant to the DIFC Intellectual Property Law, DIFC Law No. of 2019 (IP Law).Read More
The Australian Federal Court recently handed down its first-instance judgement in Thaler v Commissioner of Patents  FCA 879 where the central issue considered was whether an artificial intelligence (AI) system could be an ‘inventor’ for the purposes of the Australian Patents Act 1990 (Act) and its corresponding regulations. The Court found that an AI system can be an inventor – where ‘inventor’ may be construed broadly to include a ‘person or thing that invents’1. This decision puts Australia in the spotlight as a favourable country to patent AI-created inventions – for now. Given the subject-matter and controversy generated by this decision, an appeal to the Full Federal Court is almost certain.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.