Blog

10
Nov

Innovating Our Way Backwards

Are Advances in Autonomous Mining Technology to Blame for Australia’s Failure to Capture the Benefit of the Mining Boom? Author: Peter Caporn The International Institute for Sustainable Development’s (IISD) recent report, “Mining a Mirage? Reassessing the shared-value paradigm in light of the technological advances in the mining sector” (the Report), co-produced with the Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment and released

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31
Aug

Strategic Thinking Needed In Patent Enforcement

Author: Peter Caporn The recent case of CQMS Pty Ltd v Bradken Resources Pty Limited [2016] FCA 847  has highlighted the importance of carefully considering how to assert the rights provided by an Australian patent. Unjustified Threats The Australian Patents Act 1990 contains provisions intended to prevent patent holders, or those applying for patents, from making unjustified threats of patent

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28
Jun

Orica’s Blasting Method Patentable Despite Dyno Nobel’s Determined Opposition

Author: Peter Caporn A recent decision of the Commissioner of Patents has held that a blasting method used in open cut mining (most commonly for coal) that combines a throw blast and a stand-up blast, separated by a period of at least 500ms, in a single blast cycle, is novel and inventive. Australian Patent Application 2004293486 in the name of

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17
Feb

The Intellectual Property of Remote Operation of Mine Sites – Implications for Miners?

Author: Peter Caporn We’ve all heard about it.  In fact, if there’s a talk being given or an article being written about innovation in mining or resources then it will no doubt make reference to Rio Tinto’s innovative approach to mine site operations. With all this innovation happening there is a level of intellectual property being generated.  Once the intellectual

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11
Dec

Thickeners – not so obvious after all

Author: Peter Caporn In a recent patent opposition case before a Delegate of the Commissioner of Patents a patent application by the CSIRO for a thickener (an apparatus for flocculation) with a unique feedwell design has been upheld and the opposition by Outotec Oyj denied. The full decision Outotec Oyj v Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation [2015] APO 78

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23
Oct

Resources Industry Productivity Halved, Technology & Innovation to the Rescue?

The AusIMM held an event around a week ago at MineSpace in West Perth to launch their membership and Matt Mullins of Tecoma Strategies, former leader of BHP Billiton’s whole-of-business productivity initiative, presented on “Some Emerging Trends in the Resources Industry”. The key point for me, despite the perhaps unnecessary reminder that the resources “Super Cycle” is over and the

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23
Oct

We need more opportunities to share our Innovation stories!

Shaun Gregory , Senior VP of Strategy, Science and Innovation at Woodside Energy Ltd said as much at Networking WA’s recent breakfast event “The Resources Sector and Technology and Innovation”, which was proudly supported by RIG for the second year in a row. Peter Caporn, Principal of Wrays and Resources Group Head, attended with a number of other Wrays staff

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21
Jul

Rio Tinto Alcan and Norsk Hydro in Patent Opposition Dispute

The potential importance and impact of prior third party use of an invention, together with careful attention to patent specification drafting, have been highlighted in a recent Australian patent opposition between Rio Tinto Alcan International Ltd and Norsk Hydro ASA [2015] APO 40 (Norsk Hydro is the patent applicant). In this Australian patent opposition decision, the full text of which

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9
Apr

Surface Miners: How Obvious is Obvious Enough?

Do you routinely search patent specifications?  If not, the recent decision in Vermeer Manufacturing Company v Wirtgen GmbH[2015] APO 14 suggests that you should. Surface miners, such as those employed in the resurfacing of roads and in the mining of coal and friable iron ores, have been the subject of a recent decision of a Delegate of the Commissioner of

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31
Mar

Inside the China Free Trade Deal?

I recently attended a breakfast event presented by WestBusiness Events and Curtin University, which was aimed at providing insight into doing business with China and how the recent FTA might improve things.  Any discussion regarding business with China is bound to have a resources flavour, and this event didn’t disappoint, with Dr David Sun of Sinosteel Australia present on the

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