The Government has announced a restructure of the Federal Courts system, which will expand the Federal Court’s IP jurisdiction.
The Federal Magistrates’ Court will be merged into the Federal Court and the Family Court, so that all IP disputes will be heard at first instance in the Federal Court. The new Federal Court will have two tiers:
- the first tier will hear more complex matters, such as those currently heard by the Federal Court, and will consist of existing Federal Court judges; and
- the second tier will hear shorter simpler matters, such as those currently heard by the Federal Magistrates’ Court, and will consist of current Federal Magistrates.
Therefore, any copyright and trade practices issues that are currently heard by the Federal Magistrates’ Court will all be heard in the new second tier of the Federal Court.