OTTAWA — The royal mints of Canada and Australia resolved a row over colourful coins on Monday, agreeing to end an escalating court battle.
After years of arguing about intellectual property concerns to do with colour printing methods, and months of back-and-forth in the Federal Court of Australia, the two mints have come to a cross-licensing agreement.
Trouble had been brewing since almost three years ago, when the Canadian mint, a Crown corporation, first accused its Australian counterpart of using a special, patent-protected method to print red poppies onto $2 million worth of commemorative Remembrance Day coins. Last December, after about two years of talks did not result in any agreement, the Royal Canadian Mint filed a lawsuit.
The Canadians upped the ante this spring by adding five more runs of coins to the lawsuit, including one that featured designs from an Australian children’s book series called “Possum Magic.”
Among other things, the Canadian Mint was asking that the Australian Mint destroy or hand over any of the coloured dollar and two-dollar coins in its possession that had not been put out for circulation.