Last year, the Full Bench of the Federal Court held that Aristocrat's electronic gaming machine did not constitute patentable subject matter: we reported the judgement here.  Aristocrat subsequently filed a special leave application to appeal this decision to the High Court.

As the patentability of computer implemented inventions has been a significant point of contention in recent years, the Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia contributed to Aristocrat's special leave application as an Amicus Curiae.

Positively, on 10 March 2022, the High Court granted Aristocrat's special leave application.  For a special leave application to be granted, a case will usually have to address significant questions of law, or be in the public interest.  The High Court's decision might provide some much needed certainty for owners and patentees of software inventions, hopefully by clarifying the test for determining the patentability of computer implemented inventions in Australia.

We are also waiting to see whether the High Court will grant another special leave request for a case concerning the patent eligibility of risk management software, reported here.

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