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First wave of patent reform in AU: consultation period ends 17 Nov 2017

by | Sep 14, 2017

IP Australia is inviting submissions by 17 November 2017 on the first wave of IP reform initiatives arising from the Government’s response to the Productivity Commission Report on 25 August 2017.  Life sciences companies will be most interested in the patent reform initiatives seeking to increase the threshold for inventive step in Australia, which are included in this first wave.

The following issues will be addressed in the first wave of IP reform in 2018:

  • Patents: increasing the threshold for inventive step.

  • Patents: introducing an objects clause to the Patents Act 1990 to provide a clear statement of intent and guidance to the Courts.

  • Patents and Designs: amending Crown Use provisions to clarify the purposes for which Crown Use may be invoked, and to improve transparency and accountability.

  • Patents: clarifying the operation of the compulsory licensing provisions, and addressing dependent patents.

  • Trade marks:  introducing divisional applications for international registrations filed under the Madrid Protocol, and harmonising AU practice with the new IRDA divisional procedures.

IP Australia has released 5 papers addressing these issues for comment, and intends to prepare the first IP law reform Bill for introduction in parliament in 2018.

Consultation on the second wave (including the innovation patent system phase out, plant breeder’s rights reform, and most of the trade mark reform initiatives) will commence later in 2017, with a view to introducing a second reform Bill “as soon as possible”.

Naomi Pearce

Naomi Pearce

CEO, Executive Lawyer (AU, NZ), Patent & Trade Mark Attorney (AU, NZ)

Naomi is the founder of Pearce IP, and is one of Australia’s leading IP practitioners.   Naomi is a market leading, strategic, commercially astute, patent lawyer, patent attorney and trade mark attorney, with over 25 years’ experience, and a background in molecular biology/biochemistry.  Ranked in virtually every notable legal directory, highly regarded by peers and clients, with a background in molecular biology, Naomi is renown for her successful and elegant IP/legal strategies.

Among other awards, Naomi is ranked in Chambers, IAM Patent 1000, IAM Strategy 300, is a MIP “Patent Star”, and is recognised as a WIPR Leader for patents and trade marks. Naomi is the 2023 Lawyers Weekly “IP Partner of the Year”, the 2022 Lexology client choice award recipient for Life Sciences, the 2022 Asia Pacific Women in Business Law “Patent Lawyer of the Year” and the 2021 Lawyers Weekly Women in Law SME “Partner of the Year”.  Naomi is the founder of Pearce IP, which commenced in 2017 and won 2021 “IP Team of the Year” at the Australian Law Awards.

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