On 3 March 2011 IP Australia released the draft Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2011 for the third round of public consultation

According to the Explanatory Memorandum the overall purpose of the Bill is to make improvements to Australia's intellectual property rights legislation to better meet the objectives of supporting innovation, and to encourage investment in research and technology in Australia

The Bill proposes amendments to the Patents Act 1990, Trade Marks Act 1995, Copyright Act 1968, Designs Act 2003 and the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994. The aim of these proposed changes is, among other things, to reduce delays in resolving disputes in trade mark applications and to assist the IP profession. The Bill also proposes improvements to trade mark and copyright enforcement, and the simplification of the IP system generally

One important aspect of the Bill in respect of trade marks is the proposal to refine the process of opposing the registration of a trade mark, to make it quicker, cheaper and fairer for both the applicant and those opposing the registration of the trade mark. Other areas include strengthening the enforcement mechanisms with respect to trade mark infringement to bring them into line with existing copyright enforcement mechanisms

IP Australia has invited interested stakeholders to make comments about the Bill by written submission before 4 April 2011. Submissions can be made at the following email address: MDB-Reform@ipaustralia.gov.au

For more information about this Bill please click here

If you are in need of the services of a trade mark or copyright lawyer, or require advice about intellectual property matters, please contact Adam Simpson.