Worldwide: Intellectual Property News

Last Updated: 27 August 2007



Parliament will introduce experimental use exception to Patent Act

The Australian parliament has announced its intention to make amendments to the Patents Act to ensure that researchers and businesses can accelerate the pace of innovation. The move comes after the Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) was asked to examine the patent system in Australia. The Government accepted all of the ACIP's recommendations, including that an experimental use provision be introduced. The amendments will outline the research activities which can be undertaken without infringing a patent holder's right, including: determining how the invention works, determining the scope of the invention, determining whether there are avenues for improvement, and assessing the validity of the claims. The changes are said to give researchers greater scope to test fresh ideas and rediscover something new about an invention without the threat of patent infringement.

The recommendations can be accessed at:

The press release can be accessed at:


Microsoft wins reversal of $USD1.5 billion patent payout

A trial Judge in the US District Court of California has reversed a $USD1.5 billion jury verdict against Microsoft for infringement of a patent for MP3 technology held by Alcatel-Lucent (Lucent). Microsoft uses the MP3 patent in its 'Windows Media Player' software, and paid a licence fee to a consortium, which includes the Fraunhofer institute (a co-owner of the patent), for the use of the right. Lucent claimed that Microsoft infringed patents relating to the technology before it worked with Fraunhofer, and was therefore owed royalties from Microsoft. In overruling the jury verdict, the trial judge held that since one of the particular patents was not owned outright by Lucent, and because Microsoft had a licence to use the patent through its co-owner, Fraunhofer, Microsoft did not infringe Lucent's patent. Microsoft saw the ruling as a 'victory for consumers of digital music and a triumph for common sense in the patent system'. Lucent may appeal the ruling.

The article can be accessed at:

Patents continued

Patent suit brought against Apple for iPhone keyboard

SP Technologies, a Florida-based technology company, has filed a patent infringement claim against Apple in a US Federal Court in Texas. SP Technologies alleges that Apple's 'iPhone' infringed their patent for a 'readable keyboard display' which is similar to the iPhone's touch screen. SP Technologies is seeking 'reasonable royalties' from Apple and a permanent injunction preventing Apple from using the patent in its hardware. Further information can be accessed at:

Novartis loses patent challenge in India

The Madras High Court has dismissed a challenge to India's patent law by Novartis, a Swiss drug company, which sought to argue that s 3(d) of India's patent law was unconstitutional and did not comply with the World Trade Organisation's 'TRIPS' agreement. Novartis challenged the law after its patent application for Glivec, a pharmaceutical product, was rejected under s 3(d) of the law which requires salts and other derivatives to 'differ significantly in properties with regard to efficacy' in order to be patented. Patent protection for pharmaceuticals was only introduced in India in 2005. Activist organisations which campaign for greater access to medicines claimed that if the challenge to the new patent law was successful, it would restrict access to affordable medicine in the developing world. Novartis denied these allegations and asserted that international agreements safeguard access to medicines.

Further information can be accessed at:



Nine Network Australia Pty Ltd v IceTV Pty Ltd [2007] FCA 1172

Nine Network Australia Pty Ltd (Nine) has been unsuccessful in an action for infringement of copyright against IceTV, a company which produces an electronic program guide (EPG) called 'The IceGuide', in the Federal Court. Nine brought the copyright action against IceTV on the basis that their electronic program guide infringed Nine's copyright by reproducing its Weekly Schedule in electronic form. The Court held that Nine owned the copyright in its program guide, however dismissed Nine's infringement claim on the basis that IceTV 'does not reproduce a substantial part of' Nine's guide. The Court noted that IceTV's EPG was compiled independently, and its arrangement and expression of information differed from that in Nine's Weekly Schedule. The Court ordered the parties to make submissions as to costs.

The decision can be accessed at:

Copyright continued

Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) v Queensland Department of Education [2007] FCAFC 124

The Full Federal Court has handed down a decision in which the Court was asked to determine whether the Copyright Tribunal could, as a matter of law, grant access to results from surveys of school copying conducted by CAL, to the Copyright Advisory Group which represents the schools. The Court determined that there was nothing in the Act which would prevent the Tribunal granting access to the surveys. The Court emphasised that whether access should be granted and if so on what terms was a matter for the Tribunal to determine. Costs were awarded against Copyright Agency Limited.

The decision can be accessed at:


Format shifting provisions in New Zealand may allow companies to opt Out

A report by the New Zealand Commerce Committee, a parliamentary select committee, has recommended that alterations be made to the Copyright (New Technologies and Performers' Rights) Amendment Bill which could affect format shifting provisions. Format shifting provisions in other jurisdictions, including Australia, operate as an exception to copyright infringement by allowing individuals to copy music from one form to another form for personal use, for example, from a CD to an MP3 player. The Committee recommended that a two year sunset clause on format shifting be removed from the Bill, and should be replaced by a clause which provides music companies with an option to opt out of the provision. Consumer rights organisations have criticised the recommendations questioning why format shifting provisions exist if companies can opt out of them. The Bill will now go before the New Zealand parliament for its third reading.

Further information can be accessed at:

Eminem sues Apple for copyright infringement

The music publisher of Eminem, a rap musician, has sued Apple Inc. for copyright infringement, claiming that Apple allowed unauthorised downloads of Eminem's songs. The multi-million dollar suit was filed in a US District Court in Detroit. The complaint follows a previous copyright dispute brought by the artist in 2004 concerning the use of Eminem's music in a TV commercial for Apple's iTunes music store which was settled out of court.

Further information can be accessed at:

Copyright continued

Use of copyright notices comes under scrutiny in the US

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission asking it to investigate a 'nationwide pattern of unfair and deceptive trade practices' with regard to copyright notices. The CCIA, whose members include Google and Microsoft, claim that content owners publish copyright warnings on their products to intimidate the public and deny them their right to copy the material on a fair-use basis. The complaint was filed against Major League Baseball, the National Football League, NBC/Universal, DreamWorks, Harcourt and Penguin. The CCIA stated, 'In some cases, copyright holders threaten criminal and civil penalties against consumers who choose to exercise Constitutionally guaranteed rights', and this is a violation of the law of fair-use. NBC/Universal has denied there is anything untruthful or deceptive about the copyright notices.

Further information can be accessed at:



Toyota considers legal action against Jetstar over 'Toyota Jump'

Toyota is considering legal action against Jetstar, an Australian airline, over its use of a 'Toyota-style' jump in its advertising campaign. A Toyota spokesperson stated, 'Someone has executed a jump that is not dissimilar to ours and it would be remiss of us to ensure that our brand isn't properly protected'. Toyota has not yet formed an opinion whether or not to proceed with the complaint.

Further information can be accessed at:

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions