Telstra's own statements are being used against it in a patent court case

Photo: William West/AFP/Getty Images)

Telstra, facing court action alleging major patent infringements, has had its own words turned against it after losing a bid to suppress information said to make the telco vulnerable to hackers.

After losing the suppression case, Telstra released a statement to Business Insider saying the information in question “does not pose a risk to our business”.

However, Telstra previously gave evidence that the information, which it wanted suppressed, was of a kind that could be misused by “miscreants” for the purposes of damaging Telstra.

The information Telstra said could have been misused, is now publicly available.

In the Federal Court today counsel for Upaid, which is taking the patent breach action, successful tendered copy of the Business Insider article as an exhibit in the case.

Tony Bannon, SC, for Upaid, told the court today the statement in the article could have a bearing on determining the costs to be paid by Telstra over the suppression.

However, counsel for Telstra, Angus Lang, said the statement in the article “does not contradict any evidence by Telstra”.

Justice David Yates allowed to article to be entered as an exhibit and ordered each side to provide one page of argument over the relevance of the Telstra statement.

The suppression issue is part of a larger case, a long running one about to come to a head next year, alleging that Telstra’s mobile eCommerce platform has been infringing patents held by British inventor Simon Joyce for many years.

Already Telstra’s legal costs since 2013, described in court as making most legal counsel’s eyes water, have passed the $2 million mark, according to court papers.

Telstra has rejected Upaid’s claims and tried, but failed, to have the case thrown out of court. The main case is now to be heard in 2018.

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