08 October 2010

News from IP Australia

Discontinuing of Provision of National Examination Services to Singapore – IP Training Program Wins Award – Upcoming Creative Commons Licensing Seminar – So You Want to be a Patent Examiner...

We have received a few items from IP Australia this week, so we thought we would provide a brief digest of current news and events.


Since 1995 IP Australia has acted as a patent examining authority for Singapore’s national examination under domestic Singapore law.  This national examination work is a commercial arrangement performed under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between IP Australia and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).

The Commissioner of Patents, Fatima Beattie, this week issued a letter announcing that:

IP Australia has decided to discontinue with current MOU arrangements. This means that from 6 December 2010 no new work will be accepted under the MOU. However, IP Australia will work with IPOS to complete any outstanding work under the MOU, taking care to avoid any inconvenience to IPOS’ customers.
IP Australia will continue with its treaty obligations to act as an International Search and Preliminary Examination Authority for international applications lodged by Singaporean applicants under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.  Austria, Denmark and Hungary continue to provide national examination services to IPOS.

No specific explanation has been given for this decision, although we would speculate that perhaps IP Australia no longer considers it to be economically attractive.

As far as we are aware, IP Australia continues to provide similar search and/or examination services to Fiji, Thailand, the Patent Office of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), as well as participating in a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) program to prepare search reports for the benefit of developing countries.


In 2009 IP Australia released a nationally endorsed package of competency-based training in IP.   Since the release of this package, IP Australia has promoted it to the Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) that provide training and assessment services to individuals and businesses within Australia's Vocational Education and Training (VET) framework.  Information about the available training units can be found on IP Australia's website.

IP Australia was (presumably) pleased to announce this week that its VET promotional program has won a State Award from the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI), for Marketing Excellence under the education category.

IP Australia now will now go on to represent the Australian Capital Territory at the AMI National Awards for Marketing Excellence to be held at a gala dinner in Melbourne on 13 October 2010.

We wish them luck!


On 28 October 2010, IP Australia will host a seminar at its Canberra premises on "Creative Commons Licensing – A Perspective from Copyright and Patent Law".

The seminar will feature John Wilbanks, Vice President of USA based organisation Creative Commons and Professor Brian Fitzgerald, Professor of Intellectual Property and Innovation at QUT, who will discuss how Creative Commons (CC) copyright and patent licenses work with reference to case studies.

More information is available from IP Australia's website.


This may not be fresh news, but we happened to notice while touring the IP Australia website this week that the Patent Office is currently recruiting new examiners.

If you have relevant technical qualifications, good English-language skills, and if you have ever thought about becoming a patent examiner (or even if you have not), you can go to this web page for more information.


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