Extend jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court

At a glance

Policy ID: 71

Status: On hold

Priority: High

Patents

Issue summary

Currently the only courts able to hear Patent matters are the Federal Court and the State supreme courts.

The Productivity Commission (PC) in its 2016 report into Australia’s IP arrangements recommended a specialist IP list in the Federal Circuit Court (FCC), akin to the United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC). The PC considers that this would provide a timely and low cost option for resolving IP disputes. The PC made this recommendation to reduce the expense of IP litigations, and improve access to justice and enforcement of IP rights, particularly for SMEs.

The Government noted this recommendation in its response to the PC report, and also noted that the FCC has commenced a pilot in its Melbourne Registry.

Comments

The Federal Circuit Court is conducting a pilot of new procedures for IP matters. If the trial is successful, this issue will be given further consideration.

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