Government takes first steps towards Intellectual Property reform – September 2017
The Commonwealth Government has released its response to the review of Australia’s intellectual property arrangements and begun a consultation process on proposed changes.
In a joint statement, Industry Minister Arthur Sinodinos and Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said the changes would “provide the flexibility needed for our 21st century economy”.
They said the proposed changes responded to last year’s Productivity Commission review of IP and the Government would engage with industry and stakeholders to determine how best to implement them.
The joint statement said: “As recommended by the Productivity Commission, IP policy will be monitored by a new IP Policy Group.
“A key priority will be to align Australian inventive step law with international best practice to ensure that the necessary protections are available to deserving inventions.
“The Government has also accepted the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to phase out the Innovation Patent System.
“The Government supports recommendations aimed at facilitating fairer access for Australians to copyright material, including orphan works and ensuring technological protection measures do not restrict legitimate contractual rights.
“The Government is mindful in this process of the position of rights holders and of the economic value generated by copyright material.
“It is important copyright reform is considered in a holistic context rather than focused on individual issues. We will continue to work closely with stakeholders over the next 12 months to develop effective options for copyright reform.
“The Government is also considering the merits of a number of other recommendations and will work on these further.
The ministers said that Australia’s IP system was well regarded and consistently ranks in the top tiers of international comparisons, and the proposed changes would ensure that Australia remained competitive in domestic and global marketplaces.
The Government’s full response to the Productivity Commission review, including the planned consultation process, is available at https://www.industry.gov.au/innovation/Intellectual-Property/Pages/default.aspx