find the latest legal job
Inhouse Legal Counsel -18 months-4 PAE - Real Estate Investment Company
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· In brand new prestigious CBD offices
View details
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
IP reforms a solid win for business

IP reforms a solid win for business

James Lawrence

The Commonwealth government’s much maligned Innovation Strategy looks to have kicked a goal with the release of government response to the Productivity Commission’s recommendations into IP law reform, writes James Lawrence.

The government’s proposed response would remove a number of current roadblocks to innovation and raise the bar for those seeking to commercialise their ideas.

Heading up the reforms is the abolition of the troubled innovation patent scheme, introduced in 2001, which intended to encourage innovation by allowing inventors to access a shorter term patent for those inventions which could not meet with inventive step requirements for a standard 20-year term patent.

These patents were relatively easy to get and notorious for stifling innovation from competitors working in a similar area. The demise of these patents will be unlamented by most.

On a similar note, the inventive step test for standard patent applications is set to be further increased, which brings Australia in line with the corresponding provisions in the EU and the UK. This is a positive development beyond those established by the Raising the Bar legislation in 2012, and will improve competitiveness and bring better quality concepts to market.

On the copyright front, the decision to extend the safe harbour scheme to all online service providers will be controversial. In short, this means that the likes of YouTube, Facebook and Google can’t be held liable for users uploading infringing material onto these services. We will hear more about this one.

The government has decided against introducing a general fair use exception to copyright, as exists in the US. The current, rather limited, exceptions for fair use in Australia, such as review or parody, will remain.

The trademark reforms to parallel imports are sensible and will be welcomed by retailers. If a supermarket chain, for example, wishes to import a particular branded product from overseas because it is cheaper than sourcing the same product locally, they will be able to do this under the proposed changes without fear of trademark infringement.

And finally, it is proposed that the use of IP licensing and related agreements will be capable of constituting a breach of the restrictive trade practices provisions, which will no doubt provide the ACCC with a useful new line of attack.

This is a major suite of changes and while some elements will be hotly contested, the overall impact will be an important step forward for innovation.

James Lawrence is an IP partner at national law firm Mills Oakley.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

IP reforms a solid win for business
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Animal law moots, advocacy, Melbourne University, Australia and New Zealand Intervarsity Moot on Animal Law
Sep 25 2017
Moot unleashes animal advocacy
Melbourne has played host to one of the largest animal law moots, with student participants put th...
Scales
Sep 25 2017
Transgender teens should not need legal approval for hormone treatment, court hears
A transgender 17-year-old known as Kelvin has appealed in the Family Court against the requirement o...
Appointed, Victorian Legal Services Commissioner
Sep 25 2017
NFP CEO appointed Victorian Legal Services Commissioner
The CEO of a Victorian not-for profit pro bono legal services provider has been named as the state...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...