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Gray v Lavan Legal [2010] WASC 144
heard 17 May 2010; delivered 17 May 2010

This case is a procedural decision as to an extension of time. Bruce Gray, a former employee at UWA, helped to develop a treatment for liver cancer which he subsequently marketed (and presumably profited from). UWA sued him in the Federal Court in 2007 for violation of its intellectual property rights and lost.

UWA's argument that academics had a duty to invent, not just to research, suggested they had to keep promising results secret lest they prejudice the commercial interests of their university employers, the court said. "As a general rule, secrecy is anathema in academic life," Professor Monotti said. [source]

(UWA sought leave to appeal to the High Court, which was rejected. By that time, French J (who decided against UWA at first instance) had become the Chief Justice of the High Court.

This case involves Dr Gray's action against Lavan Legal, who handled his defence to UWA's claim, as a result of the costs he incurred: over $4.8 million.

[2] The trial lasted for some 50 sitting days between March and July of 2007. On most of those days, the court sat extended hours. The transcript of the trial ran into 4,568 pages. There were more than 1,000 documentary exhibits. During the course of the action, 19 interlocutory judgments were published. French J (who was then a judge of the Federal Court) published his judgment on 17 April 2008. The judgment has 1,619 paragraphs.



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