Patent law amendment passed by Australian Parliament
Mark Dreyfus Announces Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill
I hope you have all had a good week, here is the last in this weeks articles from Espicom’s World Generic Markets business publication, please read on…
On 20th March 2012, Mark Dreyfus, Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Innovation, announced that Australia’s intellectual property system would be amended through the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill, which was passed by Parliament. The MP explained that the amendment would provide a timely overhaul of Australia’s intellectual property system and would build on the R&D Tax Incentive introduced in 2011 to support the transition to a knowledge economy. Mr Dreyfus commented, “Researchers will benefit from certainty that they can explore new ideas free from the threat of patent infringement.” Raising the Bar addresses six key areas:
- Raising the quality of granted patents: the new standards will be more closely aligned with international standards;
- Free access to patented inventions for regulatory approvals and research: ensuring experimentation and approval for generic manufacturers is not delayed or negatively impacted by patents;
- Reducing delays in resolution of patent and trade mark applications: the Act tightens up the procedures for patent and trade mark oppositions and patent divisional applications;
- Assisting the operations of the intellectual property profession: the Act allows Australian patent and trade marks attorneys to incorporate, giving them greater freedom in their business;
- Improving mechanisms for trade mark and copyright enforcement: the Act increases the penalties for trademark infringement bringing the Australian system into line with the country’s major trading partners;
- Simplifying the intellectual property system: the Act gets rid of unnecessary hurdles and simplifies the application process.
Commenting on the amendments, Australia’s Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) said that it welcomed the changes. The organisation noted that the legislation would enable Australia to better meet the objectives of the intellectual property rights system to support innovation by encouraging investment in research and technology in Australia and by helping Australian businesses to benefit from their ideas. The organisation commented that the existing patentability standards in Australia were set at a level lower than the standards set in other countries which make up the country’s major trading partners. The existing balance, the GMiA argued, was not in the public’s best interests. Patents that have been invalidated in other jurisdictions continued to work in Australia, resulting in higher prices for the Australian public. Local researchers are disadvantaged by the broader reach of Australian patents. The organisation added that the granting of weak patents restricted innovation, competition and diffusion of knowledge, and also added unnecessarily to costs to the public.
The legislation passed into law with the Governor General’s assent on 15th April 2012. Most of the provisions in the Act will come into effect on 15th April 2013; however, some changes apply immediately.
Article source: Ian Platts. Editor of Espicom’s business publication World Generic Markets
Tagged with: Intellectual property • intellectual property law • intellectual property laws • intellectual property profession • intellectual property rights • intellectual property system • patent law amendment • patent law amendment passed by australian parliament • pharmaceutical ip news • pharmaceutical manufacturing australia patent attorney • property laws amendment • world generic markets
Filed under: Generics News
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