Patent law - a city council is an ‘authority of a state’

Date of this Version

January 1995

Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only

Van Caenegem, William (1995). Patent law - a city council is an ‘authority of a state’. The Queensland Law Society Journal , Vol. 25, Iss. 6, pp. 555-559.


In George Stack and GS Technology Pty Ltd v The Brisbane City Council, Davies Shepard Pty Ltd and Davies Shepard (Queensland) Pty Ltd, a patent infringement case, a number of preliminary questions were referred for determination to Cooper J. of the Federal Court, sitting in Brisbane. The basic and most important issue was whether the Brisbane City Council was an ‘authority of a State’ within the meaning of Chapter 17 (ss 161-176) of the Patents Act 1990…His Honour held that the Brisbane City Council was an authority of a State, and therefore free to exploit the invention for the services of the state (so-called ‘Crown use’), which in this case it had done.

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