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IP reforms to safeguard Aussie ideas

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Wednesday, 22 June 2011


Exporters, researchers and brand owners will be the big winners from a range of reforms proposed to Australia’s intellectual property (IP) system.

Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said a modern economy needs a strong IP system to protect its great ideas. The ability of Australian businesses to successfully compete in the global economy will depend on the protection of their great ideas.

“Australian ideas are our most valuable commodities that will sustain us beyond the resource booms that come and go. They should have the necessary support and protection to make them a commercial success. And these reforms will ensure that the IP system benefits all Australians,” Senator Carr said.

The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2011 brings significant improvements to the patent, trade mark, copyright, design and plant breeder’s rights systems. The key reforms include:

æ raising patent standards to ensure Australian innovators are well placed to take their inventions to the world; æ increasing penalties for trade mark counterfeiters; æ improvements to border security measures for goods that infringe

copyright and trade marks; æ providing free access to patented inventions for researchers; and æ cutting red tape and delays when seeking an IP right.

“The improvements strike a balance between the level of complexity required to support a robust IP system and a need for accessibility,” Senator Carr said.

“Raising patent standards will align Australia with key trading partners and mean that foreign companies can bring the best and newest technologies to Australia confident that their IP can be protected.

“The improvements raise the quality standard of our IP rights and bolster protection for innovators by raising the penalties for trade mark infringers.

“The reforms will provide a researchers’ exemption from patent infringement and allow them to experiment and pursue new lines of research.”

The Bill and explanatory memorandum are available here.

Media contacts: Minister's office, (02) 6277 7580 Peter Willimott, IP Australia, 0410 698 391