Are our current intellectual property laws competent?

An inquiry has been launched to explore Australia’s current intellectual property arrangements support Australian businesses as well as they could be.

Protecting the creativity and originality of individuals and retailers is proving to be more and more difficult.

Australia's intellectual property arrangements are under scrutiny as many question whether they are helping or hurting local businesses.

Amidst growing copyright concerns, an inquiry has been launched to evaluate whether the government is doing all it can to provide individuals and companies with the support they need in today's world.

In a recent media release, Treasurer Joe Hockey and Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson reiterated the importance of fostering innovation in Australian entrepreneurs.

With the latest reports from the government showing patent applications falling, the inquiry's aim is to discover if the current legislation is supporting Australian businesses as well as it could be.

Hockey and Billson are concerned that Australia has not struck the right balance between protecting intellectual property and encouraging healthy competition. 

"Our intellectual property arrangements can have effects on investment, competition, trade, innovation and consumer welfare. Our approach to intellectual property is vital to encouraging Australia's future productivity and economic growth," the joint statement reads.

The inquiry will be undertaken by the Productivity Commission, who will submit its findings in August 2016.

While current intellectual property law aligns with international standards, the government is concerned that the changing face of the economy through technology is affecting the growth of small businesses.

In order to keep up with the new global economy, Australian innovation in technology and the digital sector is paramount.

The commission understands this and is pushing for a new system that can compete on an international scale as well as motivate Australians to push themselves.

The inquiry reflects the importance of safeguarding your business against copyright violation and will be an important publication once released.

It also reinforces the significance of intellectual property services in Australia, as Billson and Hockey admit that there is a lack of clarity surrounding the intellectual property of others. 

If you are concerned your intellectual property has been infringed or you might be overstepping another individual's, contact Alder IP for more certainty regarding your rights.