The objectives of an intellectual property management system will typically include at least the following: Defensive Weather times of economic downturn by protecting products that afford competitive advantage. Counter competitor attacks. Gather strategic intelligence.   Value Building Possibility of licensing revenue. Increase asset register thereby increasing valuation of...

I'm very pleased to announce that Andy Mukherji has joined MBIP. Andy is a registered Australian and New Zealand patent attorney with a PhD in chemical engineering and a science degree in physics. Andy's an excellent communicator and, I'm discovering, has a highly developed sense...

Obtaining trade mark protection in some of Australia’s closest neighbours can be less than straight forward. It's a strange fact that the only way to protect your trade mark in many Pacific island nations is to register your trade mark somewhere else.  The table at the bottom of this post sets out options for a number of Pacific Island Nations. For example, it's not possible to register your trade mark in the Solomon Islands if you first have not registered your trade mark in the United Kingdom. Similarly, Fiji trade mark law makes provision for “re-registration” of a registered United Kingdom trade mark.

Today's post is by Geraldine Rimmer (  who, I'm very pleased to announce, has recently joined us here at Michael Buck IP and who is a specialist trade mark practitioner.  Geraldine recently helped a client deal with a person who was systematically copying the client's product. Imagine the shock you’d experience if you discovered that every aspect of you product’s packaging – the artwork, the product name, your name, the bar code and the place of manufacture – was being copied without your knowledge. Imagine the distress you’d further experience when you discover that many of your existing clients were purchasing the counterfeit product thinking you were the manufacturer. After you’d recovered from the initial shock, you’d want the manufacture and sale of the counterfeit product – a product which was cheaper and of poorer quality than yours – to stop.  But how?

The Research Affiliates decision that was handed down last November (2014) by the court of Appeal of the Federal Court has been much on my mind lately.  In the last few weeks I've attended two seminars where speakers made mention of the case.  In the first seminar the speaker continually mixed "manner of manufacture" and "inventive step" concepts, contrary to the judgment in RA and (also contrary to Justice Gummow's teachings in Doric) and even more fundamentally, contrary to the provisions of the Patents Act! In the second seminar the speaker advised us that the Australian court had approved the methodology set out in the US Supreme court for determining patent eligible / non-eligible claims, which I don't think is correct either.  Neither speaker pointed out that toward the end of the Research Affiliates decision there is a very helpful list of "does" and "don'ts" when drafting IT related patent specifications. 

So you've just received an international search report on your PCT application and the searching authority has stated that all the claims are lacking in novelty.  Well, all's not lost, there are  opportunities for making amendments to an international patent application.  It's possible to make an amendment, to the claims only, under Article 19 of the Patent Cooperation Treaty prior to the publication of the international patent application.  It's also possible to lodge amendments to the claims, description and drawings with a Demand for International Preliminary Examination.  In either case your amendments must be supported by material in the international patent application as originally filed.
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