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  • Recent changes to Australian competition law may impact the lawfulness of existing IP licensing and assignment arrangements.
  • The changes come into effect on 13 September 2019.
  • Now is the time to review IP arrangements to ensure they do not breach the restrictive trade practice provisions.

On 12 March 2019, the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 5) Act 2019 became law. Among other things, it repeals section 51(3) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (‘CCA), a provision that exempts IP owners from some aspects of competition law when they impose restrictive conditions on licences or assignments of their intellectual property (‘IP’) rights such as patents, registered designs, registered trade marks, copyright or eligible circuit layouts. Now that the law has been passed, licences and assignments should be reviewed to ensure they do not breach competition law. This includes contracts, understandings and arrangements that were made before, on, or after the law took effect.

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