Changes to Australian Intellectual Property Law

On 22 June 2023, the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Regulator Performance) Bill 2023 was introduced into the House of Representatives and is currently being considered by Parliament. The Bill sets forth a number of amendments to the Olympic Insignia Protection Act 1987, the Trade Marks Act 1995, and the Patents Act 1990. This article will discuss these changes and how they will impact Australia’s Intellectual Property Law.


What are the changes?

The proposed changes are divided into six parts including:

Part 1: Trademarks that contain, or consist of, olympic motto etc.

Affirms that only the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) can register Olympic insignia as trade marks in Australia. The changes provide IP Australia stronger legal assurance to reject trade mark applications that are not applied for by the AOC or IOC. This amendment ensures that the Olympics Insignia Protections Act’s objective are met and erroneous trade mark applications are prevented.


Part 2: Renewal of registration

Streamlines the administration of trade mark renewals by aligning the relevant grace period payments to a consistent six- month duration. This change ensures uniformity for all trade mark renewal deadlines, ultimately making the procedure simpler.


Part 3: Revocation of registration

Requires that the registration of a trade mark be revoked in circumstances where a component of a notice of opposition to registration of the trade mark has been overlooked by IP Australia during the registration process. This enables fair process for all parties.


Part 4: Restoration of trade marks to the Register

Allows, in certain circumstances, for a trade mark registration to be restored onto the Trade Marks Register when it had been removed as part of a non-use action. This means an owner can continue to defend their registration if they miss a due date but are eligible for an extension of time.


Part 5: Official Journal etc.

Removes direct references to the Official Journal of Trade Marks in the Trade Marks Act. The Registrar of Trade Marks will have the freedom to communicate trade mark decisions in a way that adapts to evolving technology and consumer behaviour.


Part 6: Spent provisions

Repeals the transitional and savings provision in the Patents Act 1990 that have had no effect from February 2022. This proposal has no bearing on how Australia’s patent system is run as it is machinery in nature.


What is the main purpose for these changes?

The amendments contained in the Bill are designed to support administration of the IP rights system. As such, by providing greater legal assurance to users of the IP system. This will increase procedural fairness and enable the government to engage with users of Australia’s IP system in an adaptable way.


Key takeaways

  • Parliament are considering Intellectual Property Law amendments.
  • 6 main proposals are included in the Bill.
  • If enacted, the amendments should provide greater legal certainty to users of the IP system.


Gladwin Legal are experts in Intellectual Property law and have extensive experience in advising businesses. If you require assistance in understanding your legal obligations please contact us at or 1300 033 934.