Published: 
27 February 2020

The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 2 and Other Measures) Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 26 February 2020 and is now law.

Importantly, the Act begins the process of phasing out the innovation patent system. As a result, from 26 August 2021 you will no longer be able to file a new innovation patent application.

The phase out of the innovation patent is part of the Government’s commitment to ensuring our IP system meets the needs of Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

IP Australia has a range of resources to help SMEs navigate the IP system. Australian SMEs will receive further dedicated support, with an SME case management service, the SME fast track service, a dedicated outreach program and online portal, to be launched as the innovation patent is phased out over the next 18 months.

The Act makes several other improvements to Australia’s intellectual property (IP) system. This includes introducing an objects clause into the Patents Act, improving the Crown use provisions for patents and designs and the compulsory licensing provisions for patents. The Act also makes a number of technical improvements to the Patents Act and the Trade Marks Act to streamline procedures and increase efficiency. 

Further information on the Act, including a summary of the commencement details, is available on the Act’s main webpage.