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Mainly intellectual property (IP) issues Down Under

ESCO’s patent did not make a composite promise and so is not invalid afterall

ESCO has won its appeal from the ruling that its patent lacked utility because the claims did not fulfill all promised advantages. The Patent ESCO’s patent relates to a wear assembly for securing a wear member to excavating equipment. Think of it as a way of attaching “teeth” to an excavating bucket and for a design of the “teeth” themselves. There are 26 claims. Claim 1 (and its dependent claims)[1].. Read More

A cylinder by any other name (except basket)

Beach J has ruled that there is no warrant for interpreting “basket” in GSK’s patent to mean “cylinder”, with the consequence that the patent was neither infringed, nor invalid.

A designs case!

Jacobson J has found that Bluescope’s “Smartascreen” metal fencing panel infringed Gram Engineering’s Registered Design No. AU 121344 for a fencing panel as an obvious imitation. Perhaps the most interesting finding, however, is why the Smartascreen was not a fraudulent imitation. vs Gram’s design was registered in 1994, so this is an “old Act” case (invalidity here and infringement here). [1] At the time, it was the first fence panel.. Read More

Scope of disclosure in an innovation patent

Patentology has a nice summary of the innovation patentee’s successful appeal in Seafood Innovations Pty Ltd v Richard Bass Pty Ltd [2011] FCAFC 83. One point: it seems like the disclosure in the body of the specification supporting the broadest claim was at a level of generality similar to that upheld by the High Court in the first round of Lockwood. Wonder how that will hold up for future application under.. Read More

A lamp lens too far

The fifth decision under the “new” Designs Act 2004 illustrates the operation of that old principle: in a crowded field, small differences may be enough to confer validity, but equally small differences in the accused products will be sufficient to avoid liability. You will recall that LED Technologies successfully sued Elecspess (and others) for infringing LED’s registered designs for a dual lens lamp, ARD 302359, and a triple lens lamp,.. Read More

The patent was valid, but not infringed

Foster J has ruled that Bitech’s patent for an apparatus that simulates log flames or coal fire in electric or gas fired domestic room heaters is valid, but not infringed. An essential feature of the patent was that the simulated flames resulted from reflected light, however, the alleged infringements used directly projected light, not reflected light and consequently did not infringe. The novelty attack failed because the relevant prior art.. Read More

Leading the expert

PAC Mining has successfully appealed the finding that it infringed Esco’s patents for wear assemblies protecting excavating buckets, but failed in its appeal against the finding that the patent was valid. The point that mainly struck my eye was that PAC Mining’s independent expert’s attack on the patent as obvious failed: The primary Judge took the view that the value of Prof Wightley’s evidence was compromised by reason of the.. Read More

Review cases handed down

On Friday, Kenny J handed down the 2nd and 3rd substantive design cases under the new Act: in Review v Redberry [2008] FCA 1588, her Honour found the design valid but not infringed; in Review v New Cover [20089] FCA 1589; valid and infringed including $85,000 damages (of which $50,000 were for additional damages). The judgments will no doubt be up on Austlii soon but, until then, students can download pdfs from.. Read More

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