IP Australia opens public consultation on proposed law changes

IP Australia have opened public consultation on five IP policy matters.

Four of these policy matters form part of IP Australia’s proposed implementation of the Government’s response to the Productivity Commission’s 2016 Report on Intellectual Property Arrangements.  The remaining paper relates to a trade marks issue.
IP Australia is proposing to introduce the legislative changes required to implement the Productivity Commission’s accepted recommendations in two separate Bills. These bills will be developed over the next couple of years, with separate rounds of public consultation.

The five policy papers relate to the recommended inventive step reforms, introducing an objects clause into the Patents Act 1990, and changes to Crown use and compulsory licensing of patents and designs.  The papers outline possible options for the various reforms, discuss some potential advantages and disadvantages of each option, and pose some questions for public consultation.  Written submissions by interested parties are due by 17 November 2017.  The five papers are:

  • Paper 1: Amending inventive step requirements for Australian patents
  • Paper 2: Introduce an objects clause into the Patents Act 1990
  • Paper 3: Amending the provisions for Crown use of patents and designs
  • Paper 4: Amending the provisions for compulsory licensing of patents
  • Paper 5: Introducing divisional applications for international trade marks.

At present, the legislative amendments relating to these issues are intended to be included in a Bill for introduction to Parliament in 2018.  IP Australia’s implementation of other accepted recommendation from the PC report will be consulted on later in 2017.  These other recommendations include phasing out of the innovation patent system, as well as changes to the plant breeder’s rights system and the trade mark system.

For more information on the proposed law changes and how it may affect you, click here to contact us today.


Annabella is a patent attorney specialising in the chemical sciences. She has drafting experience in pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, food chemistry, materials science and mining chemistry.