IP office interview: Protecting IP Down Under


IP office interview: Protecting IP Down Under

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With the help of an IP Australia-run scheme, a man who used bark to numb his painful finger after it was a bitten by a crocodile registered a patent for his medicine. WIPR spoke to the agency’s director general Patricia Kelly about the initiative and others it is working on.

Australia has been the home to 15 Nobel Prize winners in fields as diverse as economics, physics, medicine and literature. It is a country that boasts enormous contributions to journalism and politics across the world, with the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Julian Assange playing key roles in a number of global debates.

In the field of intellectual property, the Australian government’s passing of plain packaging legislation for cigarettes has aroused interest from IP professionals, right owners and others across the world. However, the legislation (Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011) has been challenged at the World Trade Organization by countries ranging from Argentina to Zimbabwe, and while politicians in the EU begin to debate introducing similar laws, Australia’s experience will remain at the centre of the global discussion.

Meanwhile, Patricia Kelly, director general of IP Australia, the nation’s IP office, has a keen focus on expanding the capabilities of the office beyond Australian borders, to address international interests.

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