IP Laws Amendment Act 2015

 

The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act 2015 ("Amendment Act") amends the Patents Act 1990Trade Marks Act 1995Designs Act 2003, and the Plant Breeder's Rights Act 1994 ("the Acts") in order to:

  • implement the Protocol amending the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS Protocol), enabling Australian medicine producers to manufacture and export patented pharmaceuticals to countries experiencing health crises, under a compulsory licence from the Federal Court. The medicine producers would then be able to supply drugs that would otherwise not be available, to help people in developing countries who face life-threatening illnesses such as malaria, HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis
  • extend the jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court, to include plant breeder's rights matters. This will help Australian farmers, nursery owners and others who work with new plant varieties, by giving the plant breeders who supply these industries a simpler and more cost-effective means of enforcing their rights
  • allow for a single trans-Tasman patent attorney regime and single patent application and examination processes for Australia and New Zealand, as part of the broader Single Economic Market (SEM) agenda
  • make minor administrative changes to the Patents, Trade Marks and Designs Acts to repeal unnecessary document retention provisions that are already adequately governed by the Archives Act 1983
  • make minor technical amendments to the Patents Act to correct oversights in the drafting of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012 which was passed by Parliament in March 2012.

For detailed information on the Amendment Act, please see the Explanatory Memorandum  to the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2014. Read further material relating to the enactment of that Bill.

Read more information on compulsory licensing for the manufacture and export of patented pharmaceutical inventions.

Commencement

The Amendment Act received the Royal Assent on 25 February 2015. The following table provides a summary of the commencement details of the Schedules to the Amendment Act.

Schedule

Commencement details

Schedule 1

Schedule 1 enables Australian medicine producers to manufacture and export patented pharmaceuticals to countries experiencing health crises under a compulsory license ordered by the Federal Court.

 

These changes implement the Protocol amending the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS Protocol) interim waiver.

25 August 2015

Schedule 2

Schedule 2 makes minor amendments to the Patents Act to ensure that it correctly refers to the TRIPS Protocol, rather than the interim waiver, if the TRIPS Protocol should come into effect.

When the TRIPS Protocol comes into force

Schedule 3

Schedule 3 extends the jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court to include plant breeder's rights matters.

25 August 2015

Schedule 4

Schedule 4 allows for a single trans-Tasman patent attorney regime and single patent application and examination processes for Australia and New Zealand, as part of the broader Single Economic Market agenda.

On a day fixed by proclamation - before 25 February 2017.

Schedule 5

Schedule 5 repeals unnecessary document retention provisions that are already adequately governed by the Archives Act 1983.

 

Schedule 5 also corrects drafting oversights in the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012.

 

Schedule 5, items 1 to 7 (repeal of the unnecessary retention provisions) and item 22 (application of amendments) commenced on 26 February 2015.

 

Schedule 5, items 8 and 18 commenced retrospectively from 15 April 2013, in line with the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012.

 

Schedule 5, items 9 to 17 and 19 to 21 commenced on 25 August 2015.

 

 

Last updated: 
2 August 2016