Feedback Sought on Streamlining IP Processes Consultation Paper
More harmonisation of administrative processes and less formalities proposed...
IP Australia has released a consultation paper in which it seeks feedback on various proposals aimed at streamlining IP processes and supporting small businesses. It is considered that there are a number of administrative processes that unnecessarily differ between the rights. Others processes are more burdensome than they need to be or take too long to resolve. Submissions should be sent to email@example.com by 7th April 2015. Some of the notable changes are:
- Create a consistent renewal grace period and clarify that each IP right remains ‘live’ during that time.
- Limit payment of renewals to the 12-months before the due date.
- Only issue renewal reminders to unrepresented trade mark owners.
- Provide for re-examination of all registrable IP rights.
- Make ‘despite due care’ extensions of time available for all IP rights and limit the ‘error or omission by applicant/owner’ extension to 12 months.
- Remove the requirement to publish Journals, instead relying on publication in the relevant databases. Time periods would commence from relevant publication in database.
- Allow authorised applicants and / or agents to make administrative amendments, such as to address details, directly using the eServices portal.
- Allow IP Australia to correct obvious mistakes, although the applicant would be subsequently notified.
- Remove the requirement for signatures on a limited number of patents documents where there is considered to be a minimal risk of the action being done without proper authorisation.
- Removing the requirement to issue certificates of examination, registration or grant. Documents approved by the Commissioner or Registrar would constitute prima facie evidence.
- Align the ‘Address for Service’ requirements across all IP rights and remove the ‘Address for Correspondence’ requirements.
- Allowing third parties to directly request examination, rather than doing so via the Commissioner, with the cost split 50/50 between the third party and the applicant.
- Allowing colour drawings for both national and international patent applications.
- Reducing the timeframe for putting trade marks in order for acceptance from 15-months to 6-months from examination.
- Removing the option of requesting publication of a design and proceeding directly to registration.
- Removing the requirement to provide multiple copies of a design.
- Aligning the unjustified threats provisions across the IP rights and allowing additional damages for blatant and unjustified threats of infringement.
- Allow more than two breeders to lodge a joint application for a plant breeder right.