The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has confirmed the finding of Justice Crennan of the Federal Court in favour of Gold Peg International Pty Ltd, Vic, Australia over Kovan Engineering Pty Ltd. The case concerned an agreement between Gold Peg and the directors of Kovan concerning the ownership of the copyright in the plans for the RotaTherm Continuous Cooker and its parts.
Gold Peg company founder, Robert Bob Smith invented the RotaTherm Continuous Cooker as a result of his many years in the dairy and processed cheese industries.
Kovan appealed the initial Federal Court judgment. The appeal lodged by Kovan was dismissed. Gold Peg was awarded its costs for both the first case and the appeal.
At trial, the findings of Federal Court include: the ownership of the copyright in the plans for the RotaTherm Continuous Cooker and its parts belongs to Gold Peg International, as a result of an agreement between Gold Peg and the directors of Kovan; Kovan had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct under the Trade Practices Act of Australia; and Kovan had passed-off Gold Peg’s business and reputation as its own.
On appeal, all three Judges affirmed the finding of Justice Crennan that there was an agreement between Gold Peg and Kovan in relation to the ownership of the RotaTherm, and that Kovan had breached the agreement when it manufactured and advertised the RotaTherm and its parts, under the name of FusionCooker and distributed it through USA agent, Blentech Corporation. Kovan made representations to the market and specific food processors about the FusionCooker, citing Gold Peg’s experience and achievements.
Kovan has been ordered to cease manufacture and sale of these direct steam cooking machines and its parts without Gold Peg's authorization. The judges have ruled this as the end of the dispute.