The Federal Government is looking to strengthen copyright laws in Australia’s copyright-infringing industries by making it easier for people to register their trademarks.
In a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, the Federal Government said it was considering the “lack of clarity” in the Copyright Act about what constitutes a “trademarks”.
It said there were “lots of concerns” about the lack of clarity in the Act and “there is a real risk that some industries will not register trademarks or may not register the necessary information”, such as the name and address of the trademark owner.
“It is a big issue that needs to be addressed and the Government will be reviewing the process of registering a trademark in light of the concerns it has raised,” it said.
The Federal Government will also examine whether the existing trademark registration regime in Australia needs to change to make it easier to register a trademark.
The submission said the lack on clarity was a key reason for the Copyright Amendment (Regulatory and Educational Measures) Bill 2017, introduced by Senator Nick Xenophon, to pass through the Senate last week.
“This Bill would remove any impediments to people registering their trademark or trademark registration online,” it added.
In his submission, Mr Xenophon said there was “no clarity” on whether the trademark registration scheme should be streamlined.
“There are lots of concerns about the process around registering a brand and that is why the Bill proposes to remove any barriers to trademark registration and to allow people to have their trademark registered online,” he said.
“The Government will work with stakeholders and stakeholders will be consulted on the details of this Bill.”
The Copyright Act does not give the Federal government any powers to impose any restrictions on the trademark registrations process.
It also does not include a provision to “require the registration of trademarks”.
The Federal government said it had already taken steps to improve the registration process.
In 2014, it introduced a registration regime for websites that allowed users to register trademarks, including trademark registration, and to set up an online trademark register.
In 2016, it also changed the way trademarks are registered in Australia.
The Copyright Amendment Act 2017 is currently before the Senate Committee on Senate Legal and Judicial Affairs.