December Final Edition | From our President - Sue Muggleston
As we approach the final stretch of 2023, I extend my sincere gratitude to each one of you for your support and active participation throughout the year. May the festive season bring joy and merriment to you and your loved ones, along with a chance for some much-needed downtime.
Looking ahead, 2024 promises to be an exhilarating year, especially with our 50th Anniversary Conference on the horizon. I eagerly anticipate welcoming you all in Sydney come March, for what promises to be a landmark event in our history.
I would like to express my appreciation to all the LESANZ Trustees. Your voluntary commitment and tireless efforts form the cornerstone of our association, and are immensely valued by everyone involved with LESANZ.
A special acknowledgment goes out to Melissa Wong of BioPacific Partners, as she concludes her tenure and the NZ Regional Chair after three remarkable years. Melissa's dynamic leadership and contributions in New Zealand have been pivotal, and we send our best wishes as she embarks on her new adventures. Stepping into her shoes is Roz Murray from Plant & Food Research, who takes over the role of Regional Chair. Keep an eye on our upcoming newsletters for more profiles of our dedicated volunteers.
LIMITED EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION NOW OPEN - book and save before January cut off!
6-8th March 2024 | Sydney @ Fishburners | Connect People and IP - Past Present and Future
Next year marks the 50th Anniversary of LESANZ and we are planning a very special conference to celebrate this momentous occasion including the Gala Dinner on Sydney's newest Super Yacht The Jackson! A luxurious cruise through the stunning Sydney Harbour at sunset will ensure it is an event that promises to be nothing short of magical, and we'd love for you to be a part of it. Book your registration today or contact the Secretariat for assistance. 15% Group discounts do apply.
RENEW YOUR 2024 MEMBERSHIP TODAY - DUE 1ST JANUARY
Membership Renewals for professional members are now due. 1st January - 31st December 2024.
Corporate members are being contacted directly by the Secretariat.
To renew, simply log in to your LESANZ account online. Once logged in, navigate to your profile page where you'll find the 'Renew Now' button (see side example). Click this to add the renewal fees to your shopping cart, where you can proceed to payment. You have the option to pay immediately with a credit card, or you may choose to make a direct credit payment to the LESANZ bank account.
Need assistance? Email the Secretariat to give you a call back to assist over the phone here: Secretariat
Additional feedback please!
Are subject matter laws affecting commercialisation strategies in AU
On Tuesday, 12th December, we hosted an online meeting with our members to garner valuable feedback. For those who were unable to attend, we want to ensure you're in the loop. We are currently gathering insights and suggestions until mid-January for our comprehensive submission, which is due late February 2024. Your input is crucial to us, so we encourage you to share your thoughts and help shape our future direction.
Do you have any views on how Australian laws on patenting of software and computer implemented inventions are affecting commercialisation and investment? We are particularly interested in input/comments from universities, research organisations, or anyone in the BD/tech transfer space on how uncertainty affects commercialisation decisions and strategies.
Also be interested input from patent attorneys actively dealing with the issues to get their perspectives, along with the perspectives of their international clients & associates they work with.
IP Australia has approached LESANZ seeking our input on impact of current patentable subject matter laws for “computer implemented inventions” on Australian industries.
Specifically IP Australia would like to know any effects of the current law in relation to the patenting of computer implemented inventions is having on businesses. This could cover:
~ any challenges current laws have for Australian industries;
~ case studies where the law in Australia or overseas has changed the investments or IP strategies regarding computer implemented inventions;
~ examples of where the patentability of specific inventions has differed between Australia and other jurisdictions; and/or
~ any views on changing or retaining current Australian law.
LESANZ is preparing a submission, coordinated by LESANZ Secretary Chris Wilkinson and so if you have any input please contact Chris by email.
So what are computer implemented inventions?
Computer implemented inventions is the broad name for software inventions, and covers any systems involving the use of computers. This ranges from AI, machine learning, and internet/Web related inventions, to systems in which a computer is used to collect data or control a device such as boom gate, electronic gaming machines, or diagnostic equipment
Patentable Subject Matter
In order to be granted a patent, an invention must fall within the field of allowable patent subject matter. Subject matter tests are directed at what class of inventions should be allowed to be patented, and what should be excluded. This a separate requirement to the novelty and inventive step requirements, and is supposed to be independent but in practice there is some merging of the assessment with the these requirements.
The current issue
In recent years, there has been considerable uncertainty about the correct test to apply and where the limits lie in relation to computer implemented invention.
In late 2022 the Aristocrat case made it to the High Court. This was a case around whether an electronic gaming machine (a computer implemented invention) was patentable. IP Australia had refused the application, a Judge in the Federal Court found it was patentable, the Full Federal Court found it was not patentable, and so the High Court took on the case. Unfortunately on the day of the hearing one Judge was absent due to illness, and the Court returned a 3:3 split. The three judges who found the invention was directed to patentable subject were quite critical of IP Australia’s approach.
IP Australia have recognised this has created uncertainty and is now seeking input on the effects of current laws in Australia. As part of this they have invited LESANZ to make a submission on behalf of our member base
We would thus like to seek more input from our members on how our current patentable subject matters in this area is affecting commercialisation and commercialising strategy. If you have any opinions or wish to contribute to the preparation of the submission, please reach out to Chris by email