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A step closer to a stronger trade mark system.



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Media Release The Hon Bob Baldwin, MP

17 August 2006

A STEP CLOSER TO A STRONGER TRADE MARK SYSTEM A Bill to enhance Australia's trade mark system and reduce the administrative burden on people registering trade marks passed the Senate today.

The Trade Marks Amendment Bill 2006 reflects the Government's commitment to encourage innovation and provides Australia with a strong trade mark system that meets the needs of business. The Bill makes incremental improvements to the Trade Marks Act, which is aimed at providing greater certainty for business.

"The Trade Marks Act was introduced 10 years ago and the improvements in this Bill are a result of a review conducted by IP Australia to make sure that legislation remains up to date with market and business needs," said Bob Baldwin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources.

The Bill will result in a number of benefits for small to medium size businesses (SMEs), which file more than half the trade mark applications received by IP Australia each year. The benefits include:

• the ability to conduct simple trade mark transactions over the phone; • increased certainty that ownership of, and interests in, a trade mark have been recorded accurately on the Register of Trade Marks; and • removal of significant cost barriers that stop SMEs asking Customs to seize counterfeit goods.

"This Bill also gives the Registrar of Trade Marks the power to initiate court action in trade mark matters," said Mr Baldwin.

"This will enhance the integrity of the Register of Trade Marks by allowing the Registrar to seek correction of the Register, or removal of a trade mark registration, where this is appropriate and in the public interest."

More information on trade marks can be found on IP Australia's website at www.ipaustralia.gov.au.

Media contact: Anna Fitzgerald, 0417 490 821.