Proprietary technology is what generally secures international contracts in the mint industry. It is therefore of key importance to ensure one’s expertise is not being reproduced elsewhere.
This, however, is what happened in the case of The Royal Canadian Mint versus The Royal Australian Mint. The Canadian mint is suing Australia for using a special colour-printing technology for a series of commemorative coins. The coins honour the children’s book Possum Magic and come in 12 different designs. An estimated 15 million coins are already in circulation, but the Canadian mint is asking Australia to stop any future production – and not to revoke ones already in circulation.
The story has increased in complexity as the Royal Australian Mint has decided to counter-sue arguing that the technology used is not novel enough to be protected by a patent.
The Australian and Canadian mints are competitors for a tight and niche market where innovation is crucial for survival.
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