Patent oppositions, litigation and infringement
Once a standard patent application has been examined and accepted by the Australian Patent Office, third parties have three months to object to the patent being granted. While patent oppositions are rare, it is still important to be aware that they are a possibility.
Whether you receive a ‘Notice of Opposition’ from another party, or you wish to lodge an opposition to a patent being granted on an application, we can assist with all aspects of the opposition process including negotiating and drafting settlement agreements. We routinely conduct substantive oppositions in Australia across a broad range of technologies, as well as conducting oppositions in New Zealand. We can also represent you in opposition hearings at the European Patent Office, patent examination hearings at the UK Patent Office and conduct interviews with US examiners. We regularly assist clients with negotiating and drafting settlement agreements.
Having a patent will often act as a deterrent to potential infringers. However, it is not a guarantee that no one else will use your technology. Patent infringement occurs when a party makes, uses, imports or sells the invention without permission of the patent owner within the country or region covered by the patent. Infringement can occur even where the invention was developed independently and there was no prior knowledge of the granted patent.
Patent infringement can potentially be quite damaging for the patent owner, particularly if the technology is commercially valuable.
If you suspect that someone may be infringing your patent, or someone alleges you have infringed their patent rights, our experienced lawyers are able to help defend and enforce your rights. The majority of our lawyers are also registered patent attorneys with qualifications in science or engineering, so whatever your technology, we have the expertise to represent you.
Not all patent litigation will result in court action, and this may not even be financially viable nor the best course of action. We will work closely with you to establish the most appropriate course of action depending on your overall commercial objectives.
Often, an infringement action will begin with drawing attention to the patent, and sometimes this is enough to resolve the matter. However, in some cases it may be necessary to initiate court action. Our lawyers have considerable expertise and experience in representing clients at court in relation to a broad range of technologies and sectors including pharmaceuticals, resources, mining, medical technology, chemistry, life sciences, engineering, electronics, physics and IT to name a few.