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Gov’t moves to shake up intellectual property system for SMBs

Gov’t moves to shake up intellectual property system for SMBs

The review is part of a suite of initiatives expected to be rolled out over the coming months in a bid to improve the country’s IP system.

Credit: Dreamstime

Local small to medium sized independent software vendors (ISVs) could be in for an easier time when it comes to copyrighting their intellectual property, with the federal government launching a review into Australia’s patent system.

According to Karen Andrews, federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the review will consider the accessibility for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as part of the government’s efforts to ensure the country’s intellectual property (IP) framework supports the needs of smaller businesses.

Indeed, the review is part of a suite of initiatives expected to be rolled out over the coming months in a bid to improve the country’s IP system, including an SME case management service, the SME fast track service, a dedicated outreach program and an online portal.

“The aim of this review is to make sure our patents system best supports the needs of SMEs, so Australian businesses can protect their inventions and operate with confidence in Australian markets and abroad,” Andrews said in a statement.

“This review is part of the government’s commitment to backing Australian innovation – by ensuring smaller businesses don’t face undue barriers or unreasonable costs when navigating our intellectual property system,” she added.

The review will be led by emeritus professor Raoul Mortley, with support from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

“It is critical that Australia’s patent system best enables our innovative SMEs to protect their great ideas, and I look forward to professor Mortley’s findings,” Andrews said.

The government has called for submissions from SMEs that use or are considering using the patent system in Australia and overseas, interested stakeholders and members of the public.

The review is set to commence in the coming months and continue for about half a year, with the final report being delivered by May 2021.


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