Australia eyes IP reform with changes in inventive step law

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As part of its drive to reform intellectual property (IP) arrangements, the government is eyeing an inventive step law aligned with global best practices.

The policy was announced jointly by Senator Mitch Fifield, the minister for communications and the arts, and Senator Arthur Sinodinos, minister for industry, innovation and science. The policy changes follow the acceptance by the government of proposal from a recent Productivity Commission review.

Amending current inventive step law to meet international best practices is a key priority in the IP reform push. Other recommendations by the Productivity Commission accepted by the government included the phase-out of the innovation patent system and the establishment of a new IP Policy Group to monitor IP policy.

In terms of copyright reforms, the government expressed support for recommendations that would facilitate fairer access to copyright material such as orphan works and prevent the restriction of legitimate contractual rights by technological protection measures.

The government said a holistic approach is important in copyright reform instead of focusing on individual issues. It plans to continue working with stakeholders as it develops copyright reform options. The government also said it plans to engage with industry and stakeholders as it considers how to implement the reforms.

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