Thank you to all who provided submissions to our recent consultation on the Exposure Draft Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2017 and Regulations. IP Australia has decided to put these legislative proposals on hold, until after the Government has finalised its response to the Productivity Commission’s report into Australia’s intellectual property arrangements. This is because if any legislative amendments are required as a result of the Government’s response, two intellectual property Bills might be in Parliament at the same time, leading to great complexity and uncertainty. We will continue to provide updates on the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2017 and Regulations as matters progress.
Public Consultation on Exposure Draft Bill and Regulations
From 23 November 2016 to 6 February 2017, IP Australia sought public comment on the Exposure Draft of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2017 and the Exposure Draft of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Regulations 2017.
The exposure draft legislation aims to align and streamline the processes for obtaining, maintaining and challenging intellectual property (IP) rights. Using similar processes for the different IP rights would make the Australian IP system simpler and assist businesses dealing with more than one right. A simpler IP system would reduce the regulatory burden for businesses that use it, and decrease administration costs for the Australian government.
The proposals will require amendments to the Patents Act 1990,Trade Marks Act 1995, Designs Act 2003, Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994, Olympic Insignia Protection Act 1987 and the Copyright Act 1968.
The proposals will also require amendments to the Patents Regulations 1991, Trade Marks Regulations 1995, Designs Regulations 2003, Plant Breeder’s Rights Regulations 1994 and the Olympic Insignia Protection Regulations 1993.
The exposure draft legislation and explanatory material is set out in the following attachments:
- Exposure Draft of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2017 in Microsoft Office document format [538.5 KB]
- Draft Explanatory Memorandum to the Amendment Bill in File format [424.23 KB]
- Draft Explanatory Memorandum to the Amendment Bill in PDF format [1.26 MB]
- Exposure Draft of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Regulations 2017 in Microsoft Office document format [508 KB]
- Draft Explanatory Statement to the Amendment Regulations in File format [340.17 KB]
We received 17 non-confidential submissions from the following:
- Davies Collison Cave Pty Ltd — 3 submissions
- FICPI Australia (Australian Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys)
- Gilbert + Tobin
- International Trademark Association (INTA)
- Institute of Patents and Trade Marks Attorneys of Australia (IPTA)
- Law Council of Australia
- Law Institute of Victoria
- New Zealand Institute of Patent Attorneys Inc (NZIPA)
- Rijk Zwaan
- Solubility Pty Ltd — 2 submissions
Copies of these submissions are available here.
Previous consultation on proposals
In 2015, IP Australia invited written submissions to initial consultation papers about proposed amendments to:
- Streamline IP processes and support small business — 15 non-confidential submissions were received
- Expand use of automated processes by IP Australia — 3 non-confidential submissions were received.
The present Exposure Drafts were then developed based on input from submissions received (along with the addition of further minor changes).