On 1 July 2018, a specialist intellectual property (IP) list was introduced to the Federal Circuit Court system with the objective of providing efficient and cost effective dispute resolution for IP matters in a more consistent and timely manner.

Key points of the new IP list are:

  • Court filing fees for initiating proceedings have been almost halved, as tabled below.
  • IP matters will now be heard by a specialist judge with specific expertise in IP law.
  • Matters are to be before the court within 3 weeks of proceedings being issued.

Table: Comparison of individual and corporate rates before and after 1 July 2018

New fees(from 1 July 2018) Old fees(prior 1 July 2018)
Individual rate $655 $1,390
Corporate rate $1,605 $4,045

The new IP list applies to the Federal Circuit Court which has jurisdiction over the following areas of law:

  • Trade marks
  • Copyright
  • Designs
  • Consumer law (e.g. misleading or deceptive conduct)
  • Plant breeder’s rights

The initiative is intended to give litigants (especially SMEs, individuals and young innovators) greater access to the courts with less risk and reduced costs.

Being able to enforce your IP rights more efficiently and cost effectively through this new pilot system, is welcome news and should assist both ‘start-up’ companies and SME’s alike.

If you have gone to the trouble and expense of registering your IP, it is important to protect it too. The new court scheme now provides a forum through which this can be achieved.