Intellectual Property Disputes

MinterEllison's team is at the forefront of intellectual property law globally. The large and diverse team has built its enduring reputation through its work for some of the world's leading and most reputable domestic and international companies. The laws protecting intellectual property, including copyright, trademarks, patents, designs and trade secrets are increasingly complex. MinterEllison's intellectual property team has the knowledge and high-level expertise to engage in all aspects of intellectual property work, from securing protection, through commercialisation, to enforcement in litigation.

Our superior skills go beyond traditional concepts and are complemented by collateral expertise in trade practices litigation and commercial law advisory work. We regularly act in defence and prosecutions regarding trade practices disputes in the Federal Court relating to consumer protection issues and we provide practical commercial advice to clients who wish to avoid protracted litigation.

30 April 2012

On 27 April 2012, the Full Court of the Federal Court allowed an appeal concerning the legality of the Optus TV Now service, which enables users to remotely record television broadcasts and watch them on their computer or handheld device. The Full Court held that Optus made the copies of the programs and consequently infringed copyright in the broadcasts. The decision has implications for providers of cloud storage services.

23 April 2012

In a 5-0 decision of the High Court, iiNet has finally won its long running legal battle with copyright holders. The Court held that iiNet was not liable for its users' downloading of copyright material.

Our Alert explores the background to the case, the reasons for the decision and importantly, what this means for copyright owners and content providers as a result.

9 November 2011

The Full Federal Court of Australia recently found that the majority of Wyeth's patent claims covering a method of administering an antidepressant compound were invalid, based on a finding that the patent was not entitled to its earliest priority date. The decision highlights the care required when amending patent claims to ensure they are not broadened to the extent that they cease to be fairly based on the specification and any priority documents.

1 September 2011

Once their compound patents have expired many blockbuster drugs remain protected by secondary 'method of treatment' patents. The validity and enforceability of these secondary patents can be less certain in many jurisdictions. In Sanofi-Aventis Australia Pty Ltd v Apotex Pty Ltd (No.3) [2011] FCA 346, the Federal Court found that the secondary patent protecting Sanofi-Aventis' blockbuster leflunomide drug was valid and infringed – a surprising outcome, at least initially, based on the facts of the case.

19 August 2011

A recent decision in the Full Federal Court has shown that while manufacturers are generally free to make goods according to a design that is not registered, care must be taken to ensure that those products are branded in a way that distinguishes them from the market leader.