Australia: Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act 2015

February 25, 2015

Australia: The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act 2015, which was passed by the Parliament on February 9, 2015, and received Royal Assent on February 25, 2015, will come into force in its entirety on August 25, 2015.

It amends the Patents Act 1990, the Designs Act 2003, the Trade Marks Act 1995 and the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994 in order to: (i) implement the Protocol amending the WTO TRIPS Agreement (TRIPS Protocol), which enables Australian pharmaceutical manufacturers to export patented medicines under a compulsory license to least-developed and developing countries in need; (ii) allow for a single patent application and examination processes for Australia and New Zealand and a single trans-Tasman patent attorney regime in the framework of the Single Economic Market (SEM) initiative; (iii) make minor administrative changes to the Patents, Trademarks and Designs Acts to repeal unnecessary document retention provisions that are governed solely by the Archives Act 1983; and (iv) enable the owners of plant breeder’s rights the option to take action in the Federal Circuit Court against alleged infringers.