Not closed for renovation: Australian IP reform


Intellectual property reform is a hot issue in the new decade. WIPR talks to IP Australia director general Philip Noonan about renovating an entire IP system.

Australia’s Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2012 has been dubbed the ‘Raising the Bar’ bill. Branding the bill in this way highlights what legislators hope it will achieve for intellectual property and innovation in Australia. The bill is aimed at raising IP standards in Australia and aligning them with those in other major IP markets, so that Australia can maintain high skilled and high paying jobs in a knowledge economy that innovation of all kinds can sustain.

The Raising the Bar bill is a “comprehensive renovation” of Australia’s IP laws, says Philip Noonan, director general of IP Australia, which administers rights, including patents and trademarks, in Australia. This renovation was necessary because Australia’s IP system has, as does any regulatory system, developed weaknesses.

“These come about through quirks in the legislative drafting, or surprising court decisions, or the system-players get used to the rules and learn how to use some of the procedures to their advantage, but in a way that’s unfair to others,” Noonan explains. “The bill fixes a whole range of problems of this nature.”

Australia, IP reform, Philip Noonan