Potter v Broken Hill Pty Co Ltd: 21 Aug 1905

VLR (Supreme Court – Victoria) International law – Conflict of laws – Tort committed abroad – Jurisdiction – Patent in New South Wales – Infringement by Victorian company in New South Wales of New South Wales patent – Action not justiciable in Victoria – ‘Local action’ – ‘Transitory action’ – Practice – Demurrer – Right of reply.
Patents could be granted by the several States in Australia. Potter obtained a patent in Victoria for the separation of metals from sulphide ores and a patent for the same process in New South Wales. He claimed that (as well as a threatened infringement of the Victorian patent in Victoria) the defendant had infringed the New South Wales patent at its mine in New South Wales. Broken Hill denied novelty and utility, but also said that an action for the infringement in New South Wales of a New South Wales patent was not justiciable in the Victorian courts.
Held: The Full Court of the Supreme Court of Victoria, decided by a majority that the claim was not justiciable.
Hodges, Hood JJ
[1905] VLR 612, [1905] VicLawRp 93, [1905] 11 ALR 357, [1905] 27 Alt 74
Austlii
Australia
Cited by:
Appeal fromPotter v Broken Hill Pty Co Ltd 20-Mar-1906
(High Court of Australia) (affirmed) . .
CitedLucasfilm Ltd and Others v Ainsworth and Another SC 27-Jul-2011
The claimant had produced the Star War films which made use of props, in particular a ‘Stormtrooper’ helmet designed by the defendant. The defendant had then himself distributed models of the designs he had created. The appellant obtained judgment . .

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Updated: 01 June 2021; Ref: scu.442606