Tagged: Federal Court

This will hurt you more than me – validity of IV catheter patent upheld

Written by Peter Heerey AM, QC, Tom Cordiner & Alan Nash. In the proceeding B. Braun Melsungen AG v Multigate Medical Devices Pty Ltd [2014] FCA 1110, Pagone J held certain claims of two of B Braun’s patents for safety IV catheters valid and infringed by the conduct of Multigate. Both patents are for a safety needle protecting device for an intravenous catheter. Both claim the priority date of 12 June 1998 through the same chain of intermediate patents.

ZIMA tomato trade mark far from rotten

Case note written by Peter Heerey AM, QC, Tom Cordiner & Alan Nash. In Mastronardi Produce Ltd v Registrar of Trade Marks [2014] FCA 1021 (19 September 2014) Justice Gordon has overturned a decision of the Registrar to reject the mark ZIMA in respect of tomatoes.

Informed Cooperation Fuels Consumer Harm?

ACCC v Informed Sources (Australia) Pty Ltd & Ors VID450/2014 – In August this year the ACCC launched Federal Court proceedings against retail petrol suppliers. The case is an important test of the application of Australia’s competition laws to ‘tacit collusion’. The ACCC has to date had minimal success in this area.

A costly exercise – s 19(2) of the Patents Act

Alphapharm submitted that, although AstraZeneca had succeeded, it had no need to litigate at all because Alphapharm had made it clear that it would desist from conduct of the kind that was alleged to be in infringement of patents, until such time as the result of the appeal in Ranbaxy was known. Nevertheless AstraZeneca commenced proceedings against Alphapharm. AstraZeneca submitted that not only was it entitled to its costs in the normal course, but also that those costs should be taxed on the special basis for which section 19(2) of the Patents Act provides.

Do you hear what I hear – musical patent less than clear as a bell

Lisica v Commissioner of Patents [2014] FCA 433 7 May 2014 – On appeal to the Court, the applicant did not seek to lead any expert evidence, which might have explained the area of the useful arts to which his invention would make a contribution or at least assist in understanding the language of the specification and the claims. Justice Jessup concluded that in those circumstances, the claim was neither clear nor succinct as required by s 40(3) of the Act: “As a statement marking out the area of the public monopoly which the applicant seeks, the claim falls well short of the standard of clarity required.” His Honour echoed the view expressed by the delegate that the applicant’s attempt to draft the specification and claims without professional assistance, had not helped him.

Telstra continues to see red over competitors’ use of yellow for phone directories

Telstra and, more recently, Sensis have published the well known Yellow Pages phone directories since 1975, and also used the “Walking Fingers” logo since shortly after that date. The applicants’ more recent online directories and mobile applications similarly have featured a yellow theme. Yellow has been a strong theme in the applicants’ marketing from an early date. Telstra and Sensis brought claims of misleading and deceptive conduct and passing off against three publishers of print and online phone directories (the PDC respondents). The relevant publications had yellow covers and yellow pages in the case of the print publications, and yellow icons, background and other visual elements in the case of online directories and mobile applications.

Failures to change corporate names and deliver up infringing material leads to fines for contempt

Late last year, the Federal Court ordered that the fourth respondent, Bob Jane, and the companies he controlled, be restrained from trading as a business under any name that is or includes the word JANE. The corporate respondents were also ordered to forthwith change their names, transfer certain domain names and deliver up promotional material to Bob Jane Corporation. Early this year, Bob Jane Corporation brought charges of contempt of court against each of Bob Jane and various of the corporate respondents he controlled for failure to comply with those orders. Bob Jane Corporation sought a declaration of guilt and imposition of a fine in relation to each alleged contempt.

When is an exclusive patent licence not so exclusive?

The first applicant, Damorgold, successfully established that JAI Products had infringed the patent in suit. A residual issue left for later determination was whether the second applicant, Vertilux, was an exclusive licensee of the patent and therefore also entitled to have initiated proceedings pursuant to section 120 of the Patents Act 1990. A written licence was in place between Damorgold and Vertilux that imparted on Vertilux an exclusive licence to exploit the patent, and also purported to record the terms of an oral licence between the parties said to have been in place at least since the start of 2006. Under the licence, Vertilux was entitled to grant sublicences, with Damorgold’s written consent (although Damorgold could waive that requirement).