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21 Info. & Comm. Tech. L. 1 (2012)

handle is hein.journals/infctel21 and id is 1 raw text is: Information & Communications Technology Law                               Routledge
Vol. 21, No. 1, March 2012, 1-18                                       R  Tayor&Francis Group
A critical evaluation of government-sponsored reviews of intellectual
property in Australia
Assafa Endeshawa* and Pauline Sadlerb
aThe Faculty of Law, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; bSchool of Business Law
at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Constant changes to the Australian intellectual property (IP) system undertaken
in the three decades since the 1970s have been accompanied by a proliferation of
legislation and intermittent reviews. The staggering volume of such activities has
generated debate as to whether such an approach should be allowed to continue
in light of Australia's determination to forge ahead in knowledge creation and
management that the information era demands. This article investigates the
propriety and consistency of the reviews conducted, the respective recommenda-
tions made, and the underlying perspectives, if any, for IP lawmaking and
implementation in Australia in the past or, indeed, for the future.
Keywords: intellectual property; review, economic policy; lawmaking, patents;
copyright; industrial property; competition; international trade
1. Introduction
Australia has emerged in the last 10 years as one of the foremost nations vigorously
engaged in a systematic commissioning of research into the making and implementa-
tion of intellectual property (IP). The Federal Government has backed the establish-
ment of research centres and institutions that churn out diverse studies into IP law and
policy and aim to become active agents in promoting IP for Australia's economic
advances. In 2007, the Commonwealth Attorney-General announced 'Intellectual
property principles for Australian government agencies' relating to their activities in
'IP management, including procurement, record keeping, industry development and
broader innovation policy, and public access'. 'Guidance and advice' on how the
principles should be applied in practice, by 1 July 2008, are expected to be supplied
through an'IP manualfor Australian government agencies'.2 At the time of writing this
article in late 2008, the manual had not been yet been published.
Australia is also a keen participant in international negotiations on IP. The Free
Trade Agreement it signed with the US has been favourably portrayed as providing
for 'state-of-the-art intellectual property   protection'.3 Lately, Australia   has
expressed a desire to help other countries in infrastructural development. Thus,
after signing an agreement between 'IP Australia', the Australian government's arm
for IP, and Thailand's Department of Intellectual Property, whereby the former
*Corresponding author. Email: assafaendeshaw & yahoo.com
ISSN 1360-0834 print/ISSN 1469-8404 online
0 2012 Taylor & Francis

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