Do IP laws help or hinder your business?

Patents, trademarks, registered designs and copyright regulations are the focus of a Productivity Commission inquiry on Intellectual Property Arrangements.

The review is a broad ranging investigation of our IP system which also looks at geographical indications, moral rights, performers’ rights and circuit layout rights. Each industry, and indeed each business, will have different exposure to Australia’s IP system, so Ai Group is interested in hearing from our members on any aspect of IP laws that affects their operations, be it adversely or positively.

Do Australia’s current IP laws place any barriers before your business in terms of innovation and investment, and could more be done to encourage greater investment? Or do they provide appropriate protection for your business’s IP?

Are patents, trademarks and copyright arrangements still appropriate in the digital era given rapid changes in technologies and business models? Is the IP regime sufficiently flexible, adaptive and technology-neutral?

Has Australia’s IP regulatory framework kept pace with overseas markets to ensure that Australian regulatory settings are internationally competitive and do not act as a barrier to domestic innovation? Or is it overly onerous and legalistic?

Do you feel there are appropriate commercial safeguards for IP protection in recent trade agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership and China Australia Free Trade Agreement? Are they enforceable in domestic practice?

Are the current restrictions on parallel imports under the copyright regulatory regime appropriate? Should these restrictions be maintained in order to take into account local distributor overhead and brand protection?

Are the specific circuit layout rights still relevant in Australia or are the rights of the developer now addressed in another area of the IP regulatory regime?

If you have a view on any aspect of Australia’s IP regime, please leave a comment. Alternatively you can contact Charles Hoang (02 9466 5462) or Pip Freebairn (03 9867 0261) in our Policy team. Your views will inform our policy submission to the inquiry.

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Pip joined Ai Group as a Senior Policy Adviser in 2013. She has broad experience covering economics and public policy, having worked as an economist for the Reserve Bank and Macquarie Bank, as a journalist at the Australian Financial Review in the Canberra Press Gallery, as well as advising a Federal Treasurer. She has a first-class honours degree in Economics and an Arts degree from UNSW.

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