Introduction to intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP), in the Australian legal context, is much more than copyright and trade marks, it includes confidential information, registered designs, trade secrets, patents and plant breeder’s rights.  The protection of intellectual endeavours has been something which the law has recognised for centuries and something which the innovation agenda has embraced.  IP is becoming increasingly important as organisations strive for competitive advantage in the innovation age (click here or insert).  IP rights arise at both common law and statute and aim to protect a broad category of rights over the fruits of intellectual efforts. These rights fall into two (2) distinct categories, those that are registerable and those that are not.

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Plant breeder’s rights – an introduction

In Australia, the statutory scheme for the registration and protection of the rights of plant breeders is contained in the Plant Breeders Rights Act 1994 (Cth) (PBRA).  The PBRA was introduced because Australia was a signatory to the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, in Geneva in 1978.  The constitutional validity of the PBRA was considered in the case of Grain Pool of WA v The Commonwealth [2000] HCA 14 (Grain Pool). [Read more…]

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