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Intellectual Property Law

New Matter WINTER 2015, Volume 40, Number 4

International IP Developments

AURELIA J. SCHULTZ

PATENT CLARIFICATIONS AND RELATIONSHIP TO COMPETITION LAWS

Evidence in Australia Opposition Proceedings

A number of case decisions have resulted in clarification regarding patent laws in several countries. Merial Limited v. Bayer Intellectual Property GmbH clarified the evidentiary rules for opposition filings in Australia.1 Australian opposition regulations introduced in 2013 have strict time-limits for a series of evidence and reply submissions.2 The 2013 amendments also introduced a public policy provision that allows the Commissioner to consult documents relevant to the proceedings that have not been filed by the parties but are available in the Patent Office; provision 5.23.3 In Merial, the Delegate ofthe Commissioner of Patents hearing the case held that information considered under 5.23 must be considered for its likelihood to change the outcome of the opposition.4 Information that is not likely to change the outcome should not be considered as doing so would lead to delay in the case.5

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