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Reading and interpreting patent specifications is a central part of a patent attorney's daily practice. It is also a critical feature of any patent litigation where both sides will be competing for alternative interpretations that favour their client. This subject is intended to hone these skills of analysis and interpretation, working on the basic legal principles that students seeking Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board (TTIPAB) accreditation have already obtained through their study of patent law and patent practice. It is taught by experienced attorneys and litigators, and meets the TTIPAB requirements for 'Topic Group H'.
This subject will be conducted with a number of case studies carried out by a team of practitioners to develop skills in the application of the rules of interpretation to patent specifications and in the application of Australian and New Zealand patent laws.
Principal topics include:
- The validity of Australian and New Zealand patents and patent applications under the provisions of Australian and New Zealand laws concerned with support, sufficiency of description and utility
- The validity of Australian and New Zealand patents and patent applications in the light of prior art information supplied, including through prior published specifications and prior user
- The scope for making amendments to patent applications
- The infringement of Australian and New Zealand patents by a competitor's product or process.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the principles and rules of Australian and New Zealand patent law relating to the reading and interpretation of patent specifications, with particular regard to issues of validity over prior art, amendment (where relevant) and infringement
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the application and effectiveness of these principles and rules
- Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field of interpretation of patent specifications
- Have an awareness of the factors and processes influencing governmental and parliamentary revision of the relevant legal framework, including recent initiatives to align Australian and New Zealand patent laws more closely with the patent laws of important trading partners
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, analyse and interpret patent specifications and to advise clients on issues of validity, amendment and infringement
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding these matters to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences, in particular to clients
- Be able to demonstrate autonomy, judgement and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in this field.
Last updated: 16 November 2022