After significant revisions to Australian IP laws in 2013, further reforms are proposed in a Bill expected to be introduced into the Australian Parliament in early 2014. The reforms will affect the Patents Act 1990, Trade Marks Act 1995, Designs Act 2003 and Plant Breeders Rights Act 1994.
The proposed Bill includes a number of provisions. Key provisions provide for the following:
- Compulsory licensing of pharmaceutical patents to enable manufacture and export of pharmaceuticals from Australia to a country experiencing a heath crisis.
- A single patent application and examination process for Australia and New Zealand.
- Extend jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court (formerly the Federal Magistrates Court) to matters arising under the Plant Breeders Rights Act 1994.
- A single patent attorney registration and disciplinary regime for Australia and New Zealand.
More information is available on the IP Australia website: www.ipaustralia.gov.au
Whilst public consultation on the proposed Bill closed on 7 February 2014, comments after this date may still be taken into account. Submissions from a number of organisations familiar with IP laws are anticipated.