AMMESA (Australian Mobile Mining Equipment Systems and Accessories Pty. Ltd) had submitted the patent application for a container tipping device for which RAM Spreaders said there are extensive prior patents.
“NSL raised concerns that the new patent was surprisingly similar to older patents, and supplied extensive examples of these patents to the National Patent Office, which showed the old patent art,” stated RAM Spreaders. “This included two American patents and documents prepared by RAM founder, Robert Arthur Mills.”
The NSL/RAM Spreaders concerns were raised in the form of a “notice of opposition” under various subsections of the Patents Act 1990, insofar as the invention, as claimed, is not a patentable invention as it is not novel.
In March of 2017, the opposition hearing was held at the National Patent Office in Canberra. National Patent Office delegate Ed Knock chaired the hearing and deliberated the evidence, before finding in favour of NSL/RAM Spreader on a number of claims.
“My finding in this opposition is that the opposition succeeds on just one of the grounds relied on, that of novelty. Claims 1, 2, 5 to 15 and 17 to 19 are not novel,” stated Ed Knocks
AMMESA was granted a period of time to propose amendments to remedy the defects in their application, but the date passed and AMMESA’s patent application was refused.
Knocks ordered AMMESA to pay RAM Spreaders’ legal costs.
“In accordance with the general principle that costs follow the event, I award costs against the applicant, Australian Mobile Mining Equipment Systems and Accessories Pty. Ltd,” said Ed Knocks.
Cameron Hay of RAM Spreaders commented: “We are pleased to have such an emphatic judgment with the Rotainer patent found to lack novelty and our opposition being successful. At RAM, our strategy is to provide the best product and design for our customers and not trolling old IP and trying to create confusion in the market.”
RAM Spreaders produces the RAM Revolver container tippler system for bulk handling.