25.2. Ownership disputes: Disputes between joint applicants

Date Published

These are disputes where the joint applicants cannot agree on whether or how to proceed with the design application. These are dealt with under s 29.

The result is normally a determination by the Registrar as to how the application can proceed. Other possible outcomes are:

  • deleting an applicant who is deliberately blocking the other(s) from going ahead with the application
  • requiring both parties to agree on all documents to be filed – noting that the application will inevitably lapse if they do not (see Application by O’Neill and St George 30 IPR 637)

The Registrar must give both parties a reasonable opportunity to put their case and respond to the other’s case. Apart from this, it is up to the Registrar to decide on the types of evidence required and the process for submitting evidence.

These disputes are extremely rare. The following patent case examples are relevant.

Joint applicant refusing to sign a document:

  • Application by Willems, Fritz, et al 21 IPR 569
  • Stephenson v Donner 24 IPR 108 (1992) AIPC 90-888.

Joint applicant requesting that the application proceed in their name only:​​​​​​​

  • ​​Carroll v Harper 1 IPR 537
  • Tribe v Ranken 1 IPR 561
  • Milward-Bason and Burgess (1988) AIPC 90-475.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

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