IP overhaul to provide certainty for innovators, Government claims

Researchers can now explore new ideas without the threat of patent infringement, the Federal Government says, after new intellectual property laws passed through Parliament yesterday.


The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2012, more commonly referred to as “Raising the Bar”, provides an overhaul of Australia’s IP system.


It is also designed to build on the R&D Tax Incentive, which applies to research and development activities and expenditure in income years commencing on or after July 1, 2011.


Mark Dreyfus, Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Innovation, described the changes to Australia’s IP laws as “crucial”, particularly for researchers.


“Intellectual property is one of the cornerstones of a successful and flourishing innovation environment, which is why our IP system must be robust,” Dreyfus said in a statement.


“Researchers will benefit from the certainty that they can explore new ideas free from the threat of patent infringement.”


Other key elements of Raising the Bar include:

  • Improved standards for Australian patents to give local inventors greater confidence that they can get the protection they need in major export markets.
  • Increased penalties for trademark infringement and improvements to border security measures to keep out counterfeit goods.
  • Less red tape and administrative delays to ensure innovators and business get the protection they need faster.

Dreyfus said the research exemption gives clarity and certainty to researchers, enabling them to focus on their projects, while businesses will avoid delays in processing patent applications.


“There are thousands of Australian business owners who will also benefit from the tough, new anti-counterfeiting trademark measures,” Dreyfus said.


In addition to the changes to IP laws, IP Australia [Australia’s administrative authority for intellectual property] is also introducing a number of initiatives in a bid to “improve the ways in which we do business with you”.


“In the coming months, we will be releasing a new portal called eServices, which will allow you to register, log in and transact with us online,” an IP Australia spokesperson says.


IP Australia is also working on a case management project, which aims to line up four individual IP rights – patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder’s rights – into one system.


“This will make it easier for you if you have many IP rights,” the spokesperson says.


“One exciting part of this project will be the ability for you to discover details of all your IP rights in one place, those of others and further information that will improve the way you do business with us.”


“This project has just started and more information will be available over the coming months.”


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