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Patent Law in Australia: 2nd Edition
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Patent Law in Australia: 2nd Edition

Price: $269.50
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Published 30 Dec 2013 (Thomson Reuters)
ISBN: 9780455232188.

By Colin Bodkin

Patent Law in Australia Second Edition continues to be an indispensible guide to obtaining, maintaining, enforcing and challenging the validity of patents in Australia.

Balancing both the practical nature of Australian Patent Office processes and in-depth analysis of statute and case law, Patent Law in Australia Second Edition navigates every aspect of the patenting process, with detailed commentary on the law pertaining to each stage.

The Second Edition captures significant case law developments and legislative change since 2008.  Among the issues that have been considered by the Federal Court are:

  • The test for anticipation;
  • Innovative step;
  • Patentable subject matter;
  • Inventorship and entitlement;
  • Extension of patent term; and
  • Contributory infringement.

In addition to case law, the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012 and the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Regulation 2013 have made substantial changes to patent legislation, effective from 15 April 2013.

Matters given effect by the legislative reforms include:

  • Significant changes to the internal requirements for a patent specification;
  • New rules for determining priority dates;
  • Simplification of the process of applying for and obtaining a patent;
  • Reducing delays in examination;
  • Aligning the criteria for patentability more closely with those applying in other jurisdictions;
  • Reducing delays in resolving opposition proceedings; and
  • Providing free access to patented inventions for regulatory approvals and research. 

This work is substantially revised to reflect these developments, most notably in the chapters dealing with the Australian patents system, the requirements for a valid patent, the rights of the patentee, and Patent Office proceedings.

Patent Law in Australia has established itself as a highly respected and effective guide for patent attorneys, intellectual property lawyers and barristers.


From: (2008) 82 ALJ 876
Reviewed by PWY

This is a significant fresh work, a comprehensive volume dealing with most aspects of patent law in Australia. As with many other aspects of law, Australian patent law closely followed the English model up until the time when the joining of England with the countries of the European Union meant that English law and Australian law to a degree separated. 

The only previous book that attempted to cover Australian patent law was by Joe Bannon QC in 1984. That book occupied only 100 pages of text and then reprinted the Act and regulations. It can quickly be seen that the present work has six times the amount of discussion of the law and so is far more comprehensive. 

The present work is described as “a specialist work for the patent attorney, intellectual property lawyer and legal professional working in the patent field” and so it is. It is hardly bedside reading. 

The work commences with an introduction to the law of patents, both historically starting in England and also outlining the Australian system. This introduction is thorough and occupies 56 pages. The following 16 chapters deal with who may obtain a patent and under what circumstances, licensing and assignment of patents, extensions of patents, and hearings and appeals. There is also a chapter on the procedure of the patent office. 

There is not much in this book that a person could use in the ordinary course of litigation. The work is solely directed to those who are practising in the field of patent law. However, it is in many respects a very esoteric branch of the law and a person who is not a regular practitioner in the field will be able, by consulting this work, to acquire a readable overview of what is involved in any stray case involving patents that might come his or her way. 

The author is to be commended for filling the gap in Australian legal literature and presenting such a thorough exegesis of the patent law. 

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