Australian sanctions impacting IP

The Australian Government has applied targeted financial sanctions against the Russian Federation and Belarus.  

What is a sanction?

Sanctions impose restrictions on activities that relate to particular countries, goods and services, or persons and entities, and seek to limit the negative consequences of these actions.

The Australian Sanctions Office (ASO) is the Australian Government’s sanctions regulator. The ASO sits within the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

For more information on sanctions, visit About Sanctions | Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

How do Australia’s sanctions apply to IP in Australia?

Australia’s targeted financial sanctions apply to property, including Intellectual Property (IP), and some activities and services in relation to IP.

IP Australia is unable to grant an IP Right to, or for the benefit of, a person/entity that is on the Consolidated List who are targeted by sanctions under Australian sanctions law.

IP Australia may request additional information relating to the ownership of IP right applications in undertaking its processes. If we determine an application or service is subject to sanctions, processing will be suspended. Any fees paid in association with such an application cannot be refunded while sanctions apply.

It is the responsibility of applicants and agents to ensure that they are complying with the Australian Government sanctions before filing an application. We recommend that you seek legal advice with respect to your legal obligations.

Further information regarding the Autonomous Sanctions and your obligations can be found at https://www.dfat.gov.au/international-relations/security/sanctions.

Impacts to IP rights held in the Russian Federation?  

Australians that seek to obtain or maintain their IP in Russia may also be impacted by Australia’s sanctions in respect of payments to Rospatent or the Eurasian Patent Organization.

If you have concerns or questions about transactions necessary to obtain or preserve the legal status of your IP in Russia, please contact the Australian Sanctions Office or IP Australia.

The Russian Federation has recently passed laws that allow for the unauthorised use without payment of intellectual property from businesses of ‘unfriendly countries’, including Australian businesses.

The Australian Government is closely monitoring these developments to better understand the possible impacts on Australian interests.

We recommend that applicants and right holders seek legal advice and consider their options with respect to any of their IP rights applied for or protected in the Russian Federation.

If you have questions about specific applications that may be delayed, please contact us on 1300 65 10 10 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) Canberra time.