Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has issued a statement welcoming the highly anticipated Federal Court decision in Meat & Livestock Australia Limited v Cargill, Inc [2018] FCA 51. The case concerned an appeal from the decision of the Australian Patent Office dismissing an opposition by MLA and Dairy Australia to the grant of Australian patent application 2010202253 in the name of Cargill Inc, and Branhaven LLC.

The application, which has attracted significant media and industry attention, is directed to methods for identifying cattle with particular traits using DNA markers known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The application was opposed by the MLA and Dairy Australia, which invest heavily in cattle genomics, because of the potential impact of the application on the industry’s ability to utilise the increasingly common genomic tools in cattle breeding. A full copy of MLA’s statement can be found here.

The Honourable Justice Beach found that certain claims of the application fail for lack of clarity and proper definition, and also give rise to aspects of inutility. His Honour is yet to make final orders however and the case is ongoing on the question of amendment, costs and form of final orders.

Patent litigators, Deputy Managing Partner Chris Schlicht and Senior Associate David Longmuir together with Partner Scott Whitmore and Associate Leigh Guerin of the firms’ Chemistry and Life Sciences group were the lawyers and attorneys representing MLA and Dairy Australia.