RCM expands legal battle with Australian counterpart

The court case between the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) and its Australia equivalent is intensifying after the Crown corporation found alleged infringement of its patent on Australia’s “Possum Magic” coins.

Expanding a December 2017 lawsuit regarding red poppies on Australia’s 2012 Remembrance Day coins, the RCM recently alleged the Royal Australian Mint (RAM) infringed its patented method for printing colour onto metal.

The RCM filed new documents in the Federal Court of Australia last month, when an additional 12 designs were implicated. The original claim focused on 500,000 commemorative $2 coins; however, the expanded claim includes another 15 million coins, each with a denomination of $2. The claim demands the coins be turned over to the RCM or “destroy(ed) under supervision.”

In addition to Australia’s 2015-17 Remembrance Day coins, the legal case now includes the 2016 Olympic coins; a coin commemorating Anzac Day; and several coins commemorating the Australian children’s book Possum Magic.

According to court documents filed in December 2017, the RAM used a printing method patented by the RCM on its 2012-dated $2 commemorative Remembrance Day coin (shown above).


On April 16, the Australian government launched a counter claim asking the Federal Court of Australia to declare the RCM’s patent invalid. The counter claim also disputes details about the RCM’s patented printing method and denies parts of the RCM’s complaint.

“Despite the Mint’s ongoing efforts to resolve the matter since 2015, it has become necessary for us to institute infringement proceedings to protect and preserve our intellectual property rights,” RCM media relations manager Alex Reeves told CCN earlier this year.

Reeves added the RCM “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.”

In addition to its domestic business, the RCM also seeks contracts in other countries. The RCM’s 2016 annual financial report states its foreign circulation business climbed 33 per cent over 2015 with $63.1 million in revenue.

The next hearing in this ongoing legal battle is scheduled for June.

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