We administer intellectual property (IP) legislation within the portfolio of Industry. The main Acts and Regulations we administer are listed at the bottom of this page.
The legislation provides the legislative basis for the patent, trade mark, design and plant breeder's rights systems of Australia. It includes provisions for:
- administering the patent, trade marks, designs and plant breeder's rights offices, including the powers and functions of the Commissioner of Patents and Registrars of trade marks, designs and plant breeder's rights
- establishing and maintaining the patents, trade marks, designs and plant varieties registers
- making and processing applications for granting standard or innovation patents, granting plant breeder's rights and registering trade marks and designs
- charging fees
- publishing the Official Journals of Patents, of Trade Marks and of Designs and the Plant Varieties Journal
- prescribing the means to take infringement proceedings to protect and enforce rights in patents, registered trade marks, registered plant varieties and registered designs
- registering patent and trade marks attorneys and prescribing their rights of practice
- accrediting approved persons to supervise and verify plant breeder's rights applications
- prescribing the right of review of decisions of the Commissioner and Registrars by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
- prescribing the jurisdiction of courts in appeals against decisions of the Commissioner and the Registrars.
IP legislation changes
We continually undertake IP law reviews. These reviews often result in changes to IP legislation with the aim of improving the robustness of IP in Australia such as the IP Laws Amendment Bill 2014 and the IP Laws Amendment Act 2015. We aim for a system that strikes a balance between public and private interest to encourage innovation.
- Patents Act 1990
- Patents Regulations 1991
- Trade Marks Act 1995 except Part 13 which the Australian Customs Service administers
- Trade Marks Regulations 1995
- Designs Act 2003 - this came into force on 17 June 2004
- Designs Regulations 2004
- Plant Breeder's Rights Act 1994
- Plant Breeder's Rights Regulations 1994
Copies of the current instruments can be found below. We also have archived copies of superseded instruments.
Designs (Means of Filing Documents) Determination 2019 (made on 15 January 2019)