Minister for the Department of Communications and the Arts

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Minister for Communications

A/g Minister for Regional Communications

Minister for the Arts

Manager of Government Business in the Senate

Improving Intellectual Property Arrangements

25 August 2017

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science
Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO

Minister for Communications 
Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

The Turnbull Government is improving Australia’s intellectual property (IP) arrangements by ensuring they provide the flexibility needed for our 21st century economy.

The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, and Minister for Communications, Senator Mitch Fifield, said the proposed Australian Government changes responded to a recent Productivity Commission review of IP.

The Government will engage with industry and stakeholders through consultation to determine how best to implement the reforms.

As recommended by the Productivity Commission, IP policy will be monitored by a new IP Policy Group. A key priority will be to align Australian inventive step law with international best practice to ensure that the necessary protections are available to deserving inventions. The Government has also accepted the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to phase out the Innovation Patent System.

The Government supports recommendations aimed at facilitating fairer access for Australians to copyright material, including orphan works and ensuring technological protection measures do not restrict legitimate contractual rights. The Government is mindful in this process of the position of rights holders and of the economic value generated by copyright material.

It is important copyright reform is considered in a holistic context rather than focused on individual issues. We will continue to work closely with stakeholders over the next 12 months to develop effective options for copyright reform.

The Government is also considering the merits of a number of other recommendations and will work on these further.

Ministers Sinodinos and Fifield said that Australia’s IP system is well regarded and consistently ranks in the top tiers of international comparisons, and that these reform measures will ensure that Australia remains competitive in domestic and global marketplaces.

The Government’s response to the Productivity Commission review, including the planned consultation process, is available at https://www.industry.gov.au/innovation/Intellectual-Property/Pages/default.aspx

Media Contacts:

Minister Sinodinos - Randal Markey 0437 275 806

Minister Fifield – Kate Woodbridge 0409 679 924

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