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Poppy: Australian Mint vs Canadian Mint

By CAA    |   Friday, 15 July 2022

Late 2017, the Canadian Mint sued the Royal Australian Mint for using a patended printing method on coins without permission. The demand: Australia's 500,000 commemorative $2 coins ($2 million in cash), in circulation since 2012, either be turned over to Canada or destroyed under supervision. Furthermore, it includes a permanent restriction of making, selling, supplying or otherwise disposing of, using or keeping the infringing coins without licence or authority.

Two dollar 2012 - Remembrance Day Red Poppy - 2 dollars - Decimal coin

The discussion began 2 years prior the court documents to try resolving the dispute. The Australians had replied that they felt their methods were sufficiently different to have not infringed. The printing method was first done by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2006 and the patent was open for public inspection from 2007 and granted in 2013.

25 cents Canada

It has become necessary for us to institute infringement proceedings to protect and preserve our intellectual property rights. The Mint distinguishes itself in the global marketplace with its cutting-edge coin technologies. As a Crown corporation mandated to operate in anticipation of profit, our technologies are vital to maintaining our competitive standing, and the Mint undertakes all steps necessary to protect its intellectual property rights.

- Alex Reeves, Canadian mint spokesman

The patent includes:

[...] by forming a plurality of macropores of about 0.1 to about 0.5 mm across in a designated pattern on a portion of the metal surface, forming a plurality of micropores within the macropores, cleaning the surface, applying the ink and drying the ink.

2 dollars 2017 - Possom Magic

At spring, the Canadian Mint added five more runs of coins to the lawsuit, including one that featured designs from an Australian children's book series called Possum Magic.

At the end of 2018, the case was resolved without a judge: the two mints have come to a cross-licensing agreement. The terms of the agreement are confidential.

As a Crown corporation mandated to operate in anticipation of profit, our technologies are vital to maintaining our competitive standing, and the Mint undertakes all steps necessary to protect its intellectual property rights.

- Alex Reeves, Canadian mint spokesman

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