The existence of this provision may well raise questions for some people. For example, why would there be an need to terminate a licence after a patent has expired – would the licence not have also expired as a result? Well, maybe not. There is nothing to stop parties from entering into contracts with terms that continue beyond the expiry date of a patent.
Which then raises the question of ‘freedom of contract’, i.e. if someone has signed a licence agreement in good faith, knowing its terms, why should they be granted a statutory right to nullify that agreement?
Last week, this question was addressed in a decision of Justice Flick in the Federal Court of Australia: MPEG LA, L.L.C. v Regency Media Pty Ltd  FCA 180, at 
That object and purpose, at least in part, is to prevent the holder of a patent from taking potentially unfair advantage of the statutory monopoly conferred by a patent after it has expired. Like s 144, s 145 is aimed at anti-competitive conduct. A licensee wishing to use a patent may have no commercial option other than to enter into an agreement with a patent holder to pay royalties whilst the patent remained in force and for a period of time thereafter.
The issue in last week’s decision was, more specifically, whether or not s 145 permits a party to terminate a licence covering multiple patents when some, but not all, of those patents have expired. The court ruled that it does not.