The patentability of computer implemented inventions in Australia has been in a state of uncertainty for many years.
As discussed here, late last year Australia’s Full Federal Court held that claim 1 of Aristocrat Technologies’ patent application did not constitute subject matter suitable for patent protection. The claimed invention, which related to an electronic gaming/slot machine, was found by the Full Court to be a computer implemented invention and refused on the basis that the invention did not constitute “an advance in computer technology”.
Aristocrat applied for special leave to appeal the decision to Australia’s High Court. On 10 March 2022, the High Court granted the special leave application. This will be the first time the High Court has specifically considered the subject matter eligibility of computer implemented inventions, and once the case has been decided it will hopefully provide some much needed clarity around the patentability of computer implemented inventions in Australia.