A bill designed to strengthen and improve Australia's intellectual property (IP) system has been introduced in the Senate.
The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment(Raising the Bar) Bill 2011 brings improvements to the patent, trade mark, copyright, design and plant breeder's rights systems.
Senator Kim Carr, the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, introduced the Bill last week (22 June).
"Australian ideas are our most valuable commodities that will sustain us beyond the resource booms that come and go. They should have the necessary support and protection to make them a commercial success," said Carr.
The Licensing Executives Society of Australia and New Zealand (LEANZ) welcomed the proposed "long-awaited" changes and their potential to "bolster the reputation of Australian intellectual property and innovation in world markets".
"There is a high level of respect for Australian innovation on the international stage, but the Australian IP system has struggled to match the reputation of its US, European and Japanese counterparts, being seen as an 'easybeat' system," said Karen Sinclair, immediate past president of LESANZ.
The Bill is the culmination of an extensive consultation process that started in 2009.
"The proposed IP reforms will create a more streamlined but rigorous patent process making Australian IP a more valuable asset for companies investing in innovation," said Sinclair.