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Australian Patent Law Developments

PA106741Keltie recently welcomed Australian Patent Attorney Peter Treloar from Shelston IP to London and Peter was kind enough to provide a presentation on Australian Patent Law Developments. The following is an overview of developments in “Raising the Bar”, Business Method patents and Innovation patents in Australia. (more…)

EPO News – July 2016

epologoExamination refunds

Under current arrangements the EPO refunds 75% of the examination fee after the examining division has assumed responsibility for the case but before substantive examination has actually begun. In order to provide transparency over whether substantive examination has begun the EPO also posts a notice on the EP patents register to let applicants know when substantive examination has started.

As from 1 July 2016 the EPO is going a stage further (see EPO News Item) and is now starting to inform applicants, if operationally possible, at least two months in advance of the date on which it intends to start substantive examination. Any application that is withdrawn, refused or deemed to be withdrawn before such substantive examination has begun will get a full (100%) exam fee refund instead of the previous 75% rate. (more…)

A brand-free zone

Guest contributor Annette Freeman writes:

When I visited Havana, Cuba back in the late 1990s, there were a lot of surprises. For a trade marks attorney, one of the most shocking was the brand-free atmosphere. Billboards displayed only public service announcements about saving water and so on, or the occasional “Vive la revolución!” Pharmacy shelves were lined with glass jars and plain white packages – not a brand to be seen. The only branded products I saw were Bacardi® rum, a local concoction called “Cuban Cola” (from Mexico), and a few venerable Cuban cigar brands.

Now, in Australia, cigarette producers and consumers are going to enter a similar Twilight Zone for trade marks, with Australia’s plain packaging legislation for tobacco products surviving a High Court challenge. This final route of appeal in the Australian legal system was always something of a last-ditch stand for the tobacco companies, as they had to reply on a constitutional argument – that the Australian government was depriving them of their property by banning use of their trademarks on the packs. Unsurprisingly, the Court held that no property was being taken, merely its use regulated.