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Australian E-Commerce Patent Unlikely To Succeed, Say Experts

by Mary Swire, for LawAndTax-News.com, Hong Kong

06 August 2003


The drive by Canadian-based DE Technologies to patent e-commerce transactions in Australia is unlikely to be successful, as the patent appears not to introduce any new technologies or processes, according to industry experts.

Speaking to The Age on Tuesday, Matthew Tutaki, chief knowledge officer for software firm, Syntropy and head of the campaign to derail DE Technologies' bid, observed that:

'We have been trading in one form or another since time began, the only difference we have now is we just found a way to make it more efficient. Nobody has a right to own that - it's everybody's.'

Mr Tutaki claims that he has 'prior art' - or evidence from the body of public knowledge in this area which was in existence before DE Technologies filed its patent application - which invalidates the firm's claims.

'I have an e-mail from an individual, from someone in Australia, who can prove prior art to December '96,' he announced, continuing: 'Basically, the prior art can go so far as this guy worked on creating MSN e-commerce gateways and did work on banking applications. We are very confident that prior art would invalidate all the claims.'

Also speaking to The Age, Brian Farquhar, change manager with e-commerce non-profit group Tradegate ECA, suggested that much of what the proposed patent covers was invented by the United Nations in its e-commerce EDIFACT standards.

A similar patent application was, however, granted to DE Technologies in New Zealand recently, and has met with fierce opposition from the e-commerce industry.


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