IP Australia has called for comments on draft legislation designed to strengthen and improve Australia's IP system.


The Draft Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2011 introduces amendments in six categories:


Raising the quality of granted patents - removing restrictions on the information and background knowledge taken into account when assessing whether an application is sufficiently inventive to justify a patent; bolstering the requirement that a patented invention be useful; raising the standards set for disclosure of an invention; increasing certainty in the validity of granted patents.


Free access to patented inventions for research and regulatory activities - clarifying that research and experimental activities relating to patented inventions are exempt from infringement, whereas commercial activities are not; exemption for activities undertaken solely for the purpose of gaining regulatory approval to market or manufacture a patented technology;


Reducing delays in resolving patent and trade mark applications  - refining opposition proceedings to better meet their intended purpose as a means for settling disputes quickly, inexpensively and expeditiously; tightening the timeframes within which divisional applications can be filed, reducing opportunities for abusive use of these applications.


Assisting the operations of the IP profession - allowing attorneys to incorporate and to extend to client-attorney communications the same privilege as currently exists for communications between a lawyer and their client.


Improving mechanisms for trade mark and copyright enforcement - bolstering the penalties for trade mark infringement and improving the system for confiscating counterfeit goods.


Simplifying the IP system – a number of changes to remove procedural hurdles, streamline processes and make improvements to ensure that the system is fit for purpose in an increasingly electronic and globalised business environment.


The deadline for written submissions is 4 April 2011. Submissions should be sent by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. More information is at http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au