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Patent amendments to assist inventors

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Date 18 December 1979

Media Release Number■Minister for Productivity




Statement by the Minister for Productivity, Mr Kevin Newman

Mr Kevin Newman, Minister for Productivity, announced today proposals to amend the Patents Act to ensure that applicants for Letters Patent were not disadvantaged by postal delays caused by industrial disputes.

Mr Newman said that it was not generally known that during a postal strike inventors could lose potential patent rights because documents in transit to the Patent Office had not reached the Patent Office within the time limits set out in the Patents Act. This situation

could not be tolerated particularly at a time when his Department was taking positive action to encourage a higher level of innovation in Australian industry. The proposed legislation will allow automatic extension of time to inventors where documents being sent

to the Patent Office are held up in the mail because of industrial disputes.

Mr Newman went on to say that consideration was being give for the proposed legislation to have some retrospective effect so that rights to inventions which may have been lost because of p istal delays could be restored. .

The legislation will also correct shortcomings in the Act in relation to extensions of time generally as highlighted by a recent decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

The amending legislation would also contain provisions to allow a greater degree of regulation of the patent attorney profession. This had been sought by both inventors and the Institute of Patent Attorneys.

For further information:

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Mr Phil Thomas Patent Office Canberra Phone (062) 83 2625