The Government has released its response to the Productivity Commission’s 2016 report on Australia’s IP arrangements (PC report).
Many of the IP recommendations require amendments to the legislation that IP Australia is responsible for. IP Australia proposes to implement these recommendations in a staged manner.
1. Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 1 and Other Measures) Act 2018
This Act received Royal Assent on 24 August 2018. Further information on the Act and associated regulations can be viewed here.
IP Australia previously consulted on the draft legislation from 23 October to 4 December 2017.
This Act includes a number of accepted recommendations from the PC report including, the plant breeder’s rights (PBR) recommendation and the majority of the trade marks recommendations. This Act also includes a number of other high-priority trade mark and PBR issues, and some measures from the previously consulted on draft Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2017.
2. Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 2 and Other Measures) Bill
This Bill will include a number of accepted recommendations from the PC report including introducing an objects clause into the Patents Act 1990 and phasing out of the innovation patent system. Changes to Crown use of patents and designs and compulsory licensing of patents are also included, along with a number of technical fixes and red-tape reducing measures.
Consultation on an exposure draft of this Bill took place between 23 July to 31 August 2018. The Government has decided that the Bill will not be introduced to Parliament in 2018 due to other priorities. The Government remains committed to the reforms and subject to priorities intends to introduce the Bill to Parliament in 2019.