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What does the government think of proposed intellectual property law changes?

Intellectual property is aimed at fostering innovation.

Intellectual property is a key way to protect innovation and develop your brand. Are Australia's current regulations facilitating this business growth?

A recent review from an independent panel which looked at the nation's competition policy, including intellectual property law, conceded that more could be done.

According to a response from the government, it agrees with the recommendations, including a review of Australia's intellectual property arrangements. In light of potential legislative changes, utilising the services of experts can help your business reap the benefits of a trademark or patent.

What is the Harper Review?

The federal government requested a panel, led by Professor Ian Harper, to review Australia's competition policy. According to the Treasury, this is the first full review in over two decades that assesses how competition is regulated and is colloquially referred to as the 'Harper Review'.

"Australia's competition policy needs to be fit for purpose, and updated for the economic opportunities and challenges Australia will face in coming decades. We face forces for change from increased globalisation, population ageing and new technologies, which are rapidly changing the way our markets operate," explained Professor Harper.

"The Panel has reviewed Australia's competition policies, laws and institutions against a set of questions to consider whether our current competition policy settings are capable of navigating these changes."

On March 31 this year, the panel released its final report, which contained 56 recommendations for change over three concepts:
  • Competition policy
  • Institutions
  • Laws

Recently, the government released its response to the review, accepting the majority of the recommendations, including the changes suggested for Australia's intellectual property arrangements. 

Positive response from the government

The panel recommended the Productivity Commission conduct a year-long review of Australia's intellectual property arrangements, which the federal government agreed with. It maintained the focus should be on the way new markets and technology affect competition policy.

In its response, the government noted the importance of protecting research and development through intellectual property law. As such, the right policy can help more businesses realise the benefits of new ideas, particularly digital innovation. 

What does this mean for business innovation?

Keeping up with the upcoming changes to intellectual property law while growing your organisation can be difficult. However, it is important to utilise Australia's legislation to encourage innovation within a thriving company. 

As such, employing a lawyer who is well informed on any legislative changes can help ensure your business idea gets the support it needs. Whether this is through a patent, a trademark or another type of intellectual property protection. 

If you are concerned your intellectual property has been infringed or you might be overstepping another individual's, contact the lawyers at Alder IP for more certainty regarding your rights.