Scintilla – a flash, a spark, an iota. Shorthand for creativity and an indicator of inventiveness under Australian law.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The ACIP Innovation Patent Review: Where are the roadside posts leading us?

By Lester Miller, Senior Associate

Australia's innovation patent system has done an excellent job of protecting incremental inventions, but it can be confusing. A person receives a granted patent before an examiner has determined patentability, but the innovation patent can't be enforced until after optional examination and certification. After certification the patent can be enforced, even though the concept may be obvious.

The Advisory Council on Intellectual Property was tasked in February 2011 by the former Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research to review whether the innovation system was working to stimulate innovation in SMEs. ACIP consulted widely, and recently released its final report, which includes six recommendations to the Federal Government.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Protecting personal information online – a review of recent investigations by the Privacy Commissioner

By Tracy Lu, Associate

Since the beginning of the year, the Privacy Commissioner has released three investigation reports into the practices of three Australian businesses relating to the electronic storage and inadvertent disclosure of personal information. This post takes a quick look at each of these cases.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

AstraZeneca v Apotex: five-judge bench allows AZ appeal on 'starting point' but upholds trial judge on invalidity

By Clare Young, Managing Associate

Australia's appetite for cholesterol-lowering drugs shows no sign of abating. According to a recent news report, rosuvastatin (brand name: CRESTOR) has pushed atorvastatin (brand name: LIPITOR) off the top generic spot. Those generic sales of rosuvastatin were 'at risk' of infringing AstraZeneca's patents, but yesterday's Full Court judgment has given generics the go-ahead to continue sales (although an application for leave to appeal to the High Court is still open).

To recap, Watson, Ascent and Apotex all wanted to sell generic versions of rosuvastatin. AstraZeneca alleged infringement of three patents. The three patents in issue relate to rosuvastatin but are not patents for the invention of the compound rosuvastatin – specifically they relate to a dosage range, a method of treatment and a pharmaceutical composition.

At first instance, Justice Jagot found all three patents invalid on several grounds, including lack of novelty, lack of inventive step and lack of entitlement.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monkey saw, monkey did - who owns copyright in a selfie taken by a monkey?

By David Stewart, Associate

'It's so easy any monkey could do it' is a phrase that gets bandied around to describe a task that requires so little skill and effort that any of our supposedly inferior opposable-thumbed brethren could do it.

Like 'taking a selfie is so easy any monkey could do it.'

But what if a monkey did actually take a selfie? Well, it happened. A monkey has taken a selfie, and now controversy is boiling over the answer to the age old question – who owns the copyright in a selfie taken by a monkey?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Almost brewed: High Court hears coffee trade mark dispute

By Deborah Jackson, Senior Associate

This blog has been following the dispute between Cantarella and Modena in respect of the challenge to Cantarella's registered trade marks CINQUE STELLE and ORO in relation to coffee, which has now reached the High Court. A five-star debate was foreshadowed, as this is the first time the High Court has had to consider the inherent distinctiveness of foreign laudatory words. In Italian CINQUE STELLE is said to mean 'five stars' and ORO 'gold'. In the unfurling debate, some promising signs emerged in the firm position each side adopted in oral submissions before the High Court on 5 August 2014 on how to determine the issue.