On 20 December 2016 the Australian Federal Government released
for consultation the findings of the Productivity Commission's
final report on its inquiry into Australia's Intellectual
Property (IP) arrangements.
First announced in August 2015, the inquiry in its final report
has illuminated a number of areas in which the current Australian
IP regime falls short. The final report sets out a long list of
areas requiring attention, which include (but are not limited
raising patent quality, including by re-examining the degree of
invention required to receive a patent
introducing a system of user rights for copyright (including a
US-style fair use exception) to better balance the costs currently
borne by innovative firms, universities and schools and
making it easier for copyright users to access legitimate
content by clarifying the law on geo-blocking, and by repealing
parallel import restrictions on books
considering a 'use requirement' for trade mark owners
to retain registered rights
making commercial transactions involving IP rights subject to
additional competition law restrictions, by repealing the current
limited exemption under the Competition and Consumer
improving access to Australia's enforcement system for IP
rights, including by introducing (and resourcing) a specialist IP
list within the Federal Circuit Court to provide a timely and
low-cost option for resolving IP disputes.
A copy of the full report is available for download from the
Productivity Commission website
The Federal Government has indicated it will consider the final
report's recommendations and undertake further consultation
which will be open until 14 February 2017. For
those interested in providing feedback on the final report, details
are available here.
This article is intended to provide commentary and general
information. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal
legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on
matters of interest arising from this article. Authors listed may
not be admitted in all states and territories
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Two recent decisions highlight that it is important for users of copyright material to be aware of moral rights.
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