Recent legislative reforms

To ensure Australia's intellectual property (IP) system continues to evolve, legislative reforms are introduced by the Government. Here's where you can learn about the most recent reforms.

Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Regulator Performance) Act 2023

The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Regulator Performance) Act 2023 received the Royal Assent on 17 November 2023. Several of the amendments in the Act have now commenced, while others will commence on 17 May 2024.

Changes to the Olympic Insignia Protection Act, Trade Marks Act, and Patents Act

The Act amends 3 pieces of intellectual property legislation: Olympic Insignia Protection Act 1987, Trade Marks Act 1995, and the Patents Act 1990. These amendments refine and enhance the legal processes associated with trade mark and patent administration, and the protection of the Olympic insignia.

The Act is divided into the following 6 parts:  

Part 1 – Trade marks that contain, or consist of, olympic motto etc.

Clarifies that only the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) are permitted to register Olympic insignia as trade marks in Australia. The amendments also provide clearer authority for the government to reject trade mark applications not applied for by the AOC or IOC.

Part 2 – Renewal of registration

Aligns minor inconsistencies contained within trade mark renewal grace period conditions.

Part 3 – Revocation of registration

Requires that the registration of a trade mark be revoked in circumstances where a component of a notice of opposition to registration of the trade mark by a third party was overlooked by IP Australia during the registration process.

Part 4 – Restoration of trade marks to the Register

Allows, in specific circumstances, for a trade mark registration to be restored onto the Trade Marks Register when it had been removed as part of a non-use action.

Part 5 – Official Journal etc.

Removes direct references to the Official Journal of Trade Marks, so that the format the government uses to communicate trade mark decisions is not prescriptive and can respond to changing technologies and customer behaviour.

Part 6 – Spent provisions

Repeals the transitional and savings provision in the  Patents Act 1990  that have had no effect from February 2022. This proposal is procedural in nature with no impact on administration of Australia’s patent system.

Corresponding changes to regulations

Amendments to the Trade Mark Regulations and Patents Regulations are expected to take place to support the changes made in the Act. The corresponding Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Regulator Performance) Regulations are anticipated to be in place by 17 May 2024.

How we consulted with you

We previously consulted on the changes proposed in this Bill when they were part of the former Regulator Performance Omnibus Bill 2022. As part of this process, we consulted with and received submissions from key stakeholders on what could be improved. We have implemented these changes.

View the Regulator Performance Omnibus Bill 2022 consultation

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If you have an interest in the direction of intellectual property (IP) in Australia, our public consultations are an opportunity to have your say on past, current and future policies.