IP Australia is committed to improving the turn-around timeframes of opposition matters. The Trade Marks and Designs Group conduct hearings in Canberra and in other capitals on a regular basis. No additional fees are currently charged for hearings which are conducted outside of Canberra.
The IP Australia Customer Service Charter commitment for patents, trade marks and designs hearings is to issue a decision within 12 weeks of holding a hearing, unless further submissions or evidence is provided. However, providing a timely service to other customers awaiting a hearing can be hampered when parties withdraw from the opposition process at short notice.
The hearings withdrawal rate is impacting on the availability and efficiency of hearings to customers with most withdrawal actions occurring in the fortnight leading up to a hearing.
As such, in order to address the unnecessary procedural delays and costs to both IP Australia and its customers, no interstate hearings will be set down for 2016 and subsequent years. Furthermore, the current schedule of interstate hearings will expire at the end of 2015.
Canberra based hearings, in person, by phone or video conferencing, will continue to be offered throughout the year, as will the option of a hearing by way of written submissions only. The Registrar will also continue her practice of holding hearings at locations outside Canberra, at a convenient time, where the parties bear the travel costs of the hearing officer.
More information will be available on the IP Australia website shortly.
Contact: Assistant Director, Opposition and Hearings, Trade Marks and Designs Group, Mr Terry George.
Phone: (02) 6283 2047