Aiming high: Raising the Bar in Australia


Australia is becoming more important as an intellectual property jurisdiction. WIPR takes a look at the latest developments.

After the sometimes tortuous efforts to reform US and European patent law over the last few years, Australia’s Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2011 (popularly known as the ‘Raising the Bar’ bill) has been notable for the generally positive reception it has garnered from practitioners across IP disciplines.

The bill was passed by the Australian Senate on February 27, and should come into effect in 2013 after passing through the House of Representatives. It instigates wide-ranging changes aimed at improving patent quality, speeding up trademark proceedings and strengthening the sanctions available against infringement.

Maurice Gonsalves, partner at Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Sydney, says that overall, “the changes are very beneficial”. The patent law changes “do raise the bar on patentability but in a way which is desirable having regard to the patent law regimes in major advanced economies such as Europe and the US”.

Australia, IP reform, Raising the Bar