Intellectual property (IP) disputes among local tech players are set to get a helping hand towards resolution, with the Federal Government launching its new IP Mediation Referral Service.
The Australian Governmental body in charge of administering IP rights and legislation relating to patents, trademarks and designs, IP Australia, revealed in February that it would establish a domestic IP Mediation Referral Service.
The agency said at the time that the service would give IP right holders, such as independent software developers, access to mediation as a low cost and effective alternative to resolving IP related disputes in court – a move that could see smaller tech players in IP-related legal trouble resolve disputes without breaking the bank.
“Mediation has been used globally to resolve IP disputes and shown to be highly effective with up to 70 per cent being resolved,” IP Australia said at the time.
Now, the Federal Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Craig Laundy, has announced the launch of the service, with access to to qualified, accredited and specialist mediation providers listed on the IP Mediation Referral Service now available to the industry.
According to Laundy, the service will assist parties in the selection of private sector mediators from a panel of qualified and accredited individuals or providers and encourage visibility of mediation services available for Australian IP applicants and owners.
“The whole point of this service is to increase the value of intellectual property by providing cost effective options to protect it,” Laundy said.
“One criticism of IP is it’s too expensive to protect, however with the IP Mediation Referral Service we are providing potentially cheaper alternatives to court action and making it easily accessible to Australian business,” he said.
The service is aimed at Australian IP applicants or owners with an IP related dispute, who now can directly engage with a private sector mediator and search by state or service offerings. Most providers also offer a national service via digital means.
For IP Australia’s director general, Patricia Kelly, the new service is set to boost “IP confidence” for Australian businesses.
“At IP Australia we have a strong emphasis on supporting startups, SMEs and entrepreneurs because they are large contributors to jobs, growth and innovation in Australia. Providing access to affordable enforcement entities is a priority,” she said.