The case concerned inventorship of method and apparatus claims. There was inventive skill in the arrangement of the apparatus. It was not a case of adding common general knowledge to the inventive concept. It was held that there was joint inventorship.
The case concerned Electronic Gaming Machines (EMGs). Feature games were implemented in the EGMs to encourage players to keep wagering by making it more interesting to do so. The majority held that the correct enquiry comprised: (a) Is the invention claimed a computer-implemented invention?; and (b) If so, can the invention claimed broadly be described as an advance in computer technology?
In order to sustain a software patent in Australia there must be an advance in computer technology that overcomes a technical problem. The provision of a health and safety management system that provides notifications and responds dynamically to changes in authority was seen as the deployment of existing technology.
An innovative patent must provide a substantial contribution to the working of the invention. The case concerned the display of information on fixed and handheld devices. The provision of a handheld remote control was not seen as a substantial contribution to the working of the invention. Absent any remote display, the provision of information on a remote display would have provided a substantial contribution.
Invalidating an innovation patent for want of innovative step can be a difficult process. Features that provide any type of advantage in the context of the invention may be seen to provide a substantial improvement to the working of the thing (and not to be seen as superficial or peripheral to the invention). For this reason, it is generally necessary to find a clear knockout in a single document or an act. A single source of information test applies that excludes general incorporations by reference.
The Applicant had been given an opportunity to amend. In considering whether to grant a further opportunity to amend, weight was given to:(i) the invention having patentable subject matter; and (ii) there there being a genuine attempt to amend.