What happens when an opponent stops opposing

Delnorth had successfully opposed the grant of a standard patent to Dura-post for the latter’s flexible roadside posts (Patent App. No. ) on the grounds that it lacked inventive step.

Dura-post appealed to the Federal Court.

Delnorth decided not to continue with its opposition on appeal. (By this time, it had already lost this one (on the innovation patent) and was in liquidation.)

The Federal Court directed that the appeal be allowed and Dura-post’s application proceed to grant.

Delnorth Pty Ltd v Dura-Post (Aust) Pty Ltd (Administrator Appointed) [2010] FCA 465

The practice point here is that the parties were able to go along to Court armed with a letter from the Commissioner indicating she did not intend to appear on the appeal. Contrast the (interlocutory) outcome in Sherman, where the Commissioner wished to fight on.

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