High Court grants special leave to Aristocrat for patentability of computer implemented inventions

Big news for patentability of computer implemented inventions in Australia: The High Court has granted special leave to appeal the decision in The Commissioner of Patents v Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd [2021] FCAFC 202.

Successful special leave applications are relatively rare, as the High Court must be satisfied the appeal involves a question of general principle of law sufficient to warrant the grant of special leave or be in the public interest.

Repipe also filed a special leave application to the High Court on 6 January 2022 seeking to appeal Repipe Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCAFC 223. We are still awaiting the outcome of that special leave application.

The substantive issue in both cases is the patentability of software – risk management software in the case of Repipe and electronic gaming machines in the case of Aristocrat.

The High Court will now hear the substantive appeal in Aristocrat and will likely issue a decision later this year. 


Mark’s academic background is in computer science and electrical engineering. He assists clients in obtaining and enforcing their intellectual property rights in the areas of software, electronics and engineering. Prior to joining Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick, Mark worked for a leading automotive manufacturer.