IP Australia is changing some of our fees to ensure we continue to recover our costs from administering intellectual property (IP) rights and their associated legislation. The changes to our fees will commence from 12am AEST, 1 October 2020*.
We encourage you to familiarise yourself with the new fee arrangements for IP Australia’s products and services. A list of the fee changes can be viewed here.
Why review our fees?
We last reviewed our fees in the 2015-16 financial year. IP Australia’s 2019-2020 fee review reflects our commitment to ensuring our cost recovery arrangements continue to be in line with the Australian Government Charging Framework and that our fees are consistent, transparent and recover the costs associated with administering the IP rights system.
What has occurred?
The fee review explored several themes including:
- Supporting innovators by balancing our fees with costs of doing business
- Increasing flexibility and efficiency for IP Australia and our stakeholders
- Exploring the impact fees have on the quality of IP applications and competition in the marketplace
It also gave us a chance to consider the Government’s response to the recommendations from the Productivity Commission’s 2016 Inquiry into Australia’s intellectual property arrangements and take into account feedback received from customers and staff.
In 2019, we invited public comment on our fees and fee structure. Over 80 submissions were received. We reviewed submissions both for possible immediate changes for our fees, but also with regard to developing our longer-term strategy on policy objectives for future fee reviews.
Of these submissions, 28 were identified as potential candidates to be implemented in this fee review. A further 26 submissions were identified as candidates for possible implementation in the future. You can read the public submissions here.
The themes around the submissions we received included:
- Simplifying fee structures - Reduce confusion and complexities around fee structures for customers and staff.
- Alignment across rights - Provide consistency to fees and regulations across similar services IP Australia delivers.
- Balancing costs with work effort - Align the cost of examination with the associated fee. For example, weighing the cost of the number of claims in a patent application with the work required of an examiner.
- Encourage strategic assessment of the value of rights - Encourage IP owners to be more considered when it comes to renewing their rights.
- Streamline workflow and improve efficiency - Adjust fees and communication channels to further support our preferred filing methods and online services, and increase usage of self-help items such as trade mark pick lists.
In December 2019, we published IP Australia’s draft Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) outlining the proposed fee changes and feedback was sought over a 9-week consultation period, ending 16 February 2020. Ten submissions were received during this consultation period.
Most of the submissions expressed concern about proposed changes to costs awards for oppositions and hearings. In light of that feedback, IP Australia decided that the proposed changes to cost awards required further consultation and consideration and will not proceed with changes at this time.
IP Australia will publish the final CRIS as part of the 2020-21 budget update.
Regulations have now been made to amend IP Australia’s fees, and the fee changes will commence on 1 October 2020.
*Please note: Changes to Madrid Import Application fees are scheduled to commence from 12am AEDT, 7 November 2020