On 20 March 2012 the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2012 (Commonwealth) was passed by the House of Representatives. The Bill has previously passed through the Senate and will now likely proceed to come into force after it has been assented to by the Governor-General.
The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2012 is a wide effect on intellectual property legislation in Australia, and makes amendments to the Patents Act 1990 (Cth), Designs Act 2003 (Cth), Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth), Plant Breeders Rights Act 1994 (Cth) and Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).
Most of the new changes will not come into effect until 12 months from the date on which the Bill becomes law.
The Bill will affect the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) and will do the following:
- Make it slightly easier to register a trade mark.
- Streamline and speed up the opposition process.
- Allow the Federal Magistrates Court to determine Trade Mark disputes.
- Impose harsher penalties to counterfeiters.
- Allows the Courts greater discretion in relation to determining damages
The Bill may be found at the following link: The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2012
We consider that these changes are largely positive in nature, and hopefully, you do too! To find out more about the changes to the laws, do not hesitate to contact us using our quick enquiry form.