On 11 May 2007, the Attorney-General, the Hon Philip Ruddock MP, released the Statement of IP Principles. The Statement of IP Principles is an IP Policy which provides a framework for effective management of Intellectual Property (IP) by Australian Government agencies.
All Australian Government agencies which are subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 must comply with the requirements of the Statement of IP Principles by 1 July 2008.
All agencies which are subject to the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 do not need to comply with the Statement of IP Principles but compliance is stated in the Principles to be ‘good practice’.
The Statement of IP Principles covers a broad range of issues relevant to effective management of IP, including procurement, record keeping, industry development and broader innovation policy, and public access. It is aimed at encouraging government agencies to adopt good practice in the management of IP generally, including:
Managing IP in accordance with an agency's IP management policy.
Commercialising IP where appropriate.
Maintaining a flexible approach in considering options for ownership, management and use of IP.
Being mindful of opportunities for sharing IP with other agencies.
The Statement is part of the whole-of-government approach to IP. An IP Better Practice Manual, which will provide agencies with up to date information on implementing the Statement of IP Principles is to be published later this year.
What this means for you
The Australian National Audit Office is likely to use the Statement of IP Principles to form the basis for its IP management audits of agencies.
All FMA agencies will be required to have an IP Policy which complies with the Statement of IP Principles. Agencies should review their IP policies, IP registers and template contracts to ensure that they comply with the Statement of IP Principles as soon as possible and in any event by 1 July 2008.
The Statement of IP Principles is available on the Attorney-General Department’s website http://www.ag.gov.au/cca.
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