Tuesday, 18th February, 2014

Australia 5th overall in global intellectual property protection ranking

Australia maintained its position as a global leader in intellectual property (IP) in a recent study released by the Global Intellectual Property Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce (GIPC) on the strength of IP protection in 25 countries.

Coming 5th overall in this second edition of the GIPC International IP Index, Australia has maintained a strong position despite losing some standing as a result of the tobacco plain packaging laws. Showing strong points, Australia scored six out of a possible seven for the protection of patents. Other areas in which Australia excelled are the protection of trade secrets and market access, and membership and ratification of international treaties, and had the 4th lowest levels of software piracy.

This is the second time Australia has scored highly in the GIPC International IP Index, showing that consistent and effective intellectual property protection procedures are in place.

The GIPC thinks there is room for improvement though. With the introduction of plain packaging on tobacco products in 2013, Australia lost standing in the trade marks category. The new measures have ignited global debate on whether the use of plain packaging threatens the rights of trade mark owners. The result is that the GIPC scored Australia zero for 'non-discrimination/non-restrictions on the use of brands in packaging of different products'.

The GIPC also warns that Australia's ranking could fall again if the current five year patent term extension for pharmaceutical patents is removed.

Damian Broadley, Partner at AJ Park says, "overall, this is a good result for Australia. The results of this year's index are consistent with the previous, and show that Australia has a robust infrastructure in place. The relevance of surveys such as this can be debated, but they give businesses, IP professionals and law makers a starting point. IP protection is a global issue and with the fast-changing world, strong results in areas such as protection against software piracy indicate a solid base for Australian IP protection."

About AJ Park

AJ Park is a leading provider of intellectual property services in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific region. For over 120 years, we've helped companies and individuals identify, develop, protect, commercialise, manage, and enforce their intellectual property throughout the world. Visit our website www.ajpark.com or follow us on twitter @AJParkIP