The future of our 2 dollar coins isn’t looking too bright after the Royal Australian Mint (RAM) was hit with a lawsuit from the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) on December 22nd 2017. The Royal Canadian Mint claims the technology that prints the colour onto our circulating commemorative coins infringes their patent. The RCM wants the Australian Mint to destroy 503,000 2012 dated red poppy $2 coins it minted and sold through the RSL as a fundraiser for the charity helping returned soldiers. The Australian Mint has since gone on to produce many more issues using the same technology, let us paint you a picture-
995,000 Purple 60th Anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation $2 coins in 2013
1,856,000 Green Remembrance $2 coins in 2014
1,466,000 Red Lest We Forget $2 coins in 2015
2,151,000 Orange Remembrance $2 coins in 2015
Approximately 10 million Black, Blue, Green, Red, Yellow Olympic and a Multicoloured Paralympic $2 coins in 2016
Approximately 6 million Multicoloured Magic Possum $2 coins in 2017
and most recently Purple and Green Rosemary Remembrance $2 coins in late 2017.
These coloured commemorative coins all use the patented technology of creating a plurality of micropores and macropores on the metals surface for better adherance of the paint. This is different to the more commonly used pad-printing of a design on the coin surface which will more easily wear away. The patented process offers superior durability suitable for circulating coins.
The Royal Canadian Mint first used this process on the 2004 Canadian 25 cent coin sent into circulation and one would have assumed the Royal Australian Mint got all the correct permissions for also using the technology. The lawsuit claims differently that the RCM contacted the RAM in writing in December 2015 and also December 2016 to desist from its infringing conduct. The Australian Mint is yet to respond about this latest Royal ruckus.