Recent Cases

Rakman International Pty Limited v Boss Fire & Safety Pty Ltd [2023] FCAFC 202 (19 December 2023) (NICHOLAS, BURLEY AND ROFE JJ)


Catchwords:


CONSUMER LAW – misleading or deceptive conduct in contravention of s 18 of the Australian Consumer Law – representations to customers and other industry participants that supply of competitor’s product would infringe author’s patent – where representations couched in terms of author’s “firm belief” – whether representations caused loss of opportunity – no error established.

PATENTS – unjustified threats in contravention of s 128(1) of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) – whether primary judge erred in finding letters contained no threats – where primary judge found that letters were sent to “warn off” potential customers of competitor’s product – no error established.

PATENTS – novelty and innovative step – presumption under s 7(4) of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) that invention involves innovative step – whether respondent discharged onus to rebut presumption – whether primary judge erred in finding lack of innovative step on the basis that a claim was novel but did not make a substantial contribution to the art – no error established.

COSTS – offers of compromise – whether primary judge erred in failing to invoke discretion under r 1.35 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) to make an order inconsistent with the consequences of r 25.14(2) – where respondents abandoned or failed in parts of the case – consideration of discretion to award costs under ss 43(2) and (3) of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) – consideration of House v The King principles – whether offer to discontinue proceedings constitutes genuine compromise and whether unreasonable to reject that offer.