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Australian researchers receive boost with IP reforms

Australian researchers now have the freedom to carry out research without the fear of being sued for patent infringement following the introduction of new laws.

The new Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012 sets out these rights in unambiguous language to dispel the uncertainty that has plagued the research sector for years.

The previous uncertainty discouraged researchers from working in areas where there were pre-existing patents, and where they may have been at risk of being sued. Researchers will no longer need to waste time, effort and money on obtaining advice when they have concerns about how their experiments may relate to an existing patent.

The Raising the Bar Act confirms that researchers are free to undertake research for experimental purposes relating to the subject matter of the invention, as well as:

  • determining the properties of an invention and the scope of its claims;
  • improving or modifying the invention;
  • investigating the validity of a patent or a claim relating to the invention; and
  • examining whether a patent would be or has been infringed.

The reforms exempt experiments carried out after 16 April 2012.

More information.

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