Researchers now exempt from patent infringement
17 Apr 2012
The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012 has passed into law with the Governor General’s assent on Sunday 15 April 2012.
Most provisions in the Act come into effect on 15 April 2013, however, exemptions for researchers and regulatory use apply immediately.
A key feature of the reforms allows for researchers to conduct genuine scientific inquiry without worrying about patent infringement. This includes work on improving a patented invention (but does not include commercialisation until the patent expires or lapses).
To provide clarity for researchers, an inclusive list of activities that are deemed to be experimental has been included in section 119C of the Patents Act 1990. The following activities are exempt:
- determining the properties of the invention
- determining the scope of a patent claim relating to the invention
- improving or modifying the invention
- determining the validity of the patent or of a patent claim relating to the invention
- determining whether the patent for the invention would be, or has been, infringed by the doing of an act.
This list is not intended to be exhaustive. A court may find other activities also fall within the meaning of 'experimental'. The exemption does not apply to research tools.
Learn more about research and regulatory exemptions and their boundaries in the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012.
Last Updated: 29/11/2012