Why review our fees?
We last undertook a fee review in the 2015-16 financial year. The 2019-20 fee review reflects the organisation's commitment to ensuring our cost recovery arrangements continue to be in line with the Australian Government Charging Framework. This review invited public comment on our fee structure, with consideration given to ideas that ensure IP Australia is setting fees that are consistent, transparent and will recover the costs associated with administering the IP Rights system.
We see the Fee Review as a chance to explore how our fee structure might influence several themes. This fee review process will also take into account the Government’s response to the recommendations from the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Australia’s intellectual property arrangements. While not every submission will result in immediate changes to fees, this exploration will feed into a longer-term strategy on policy objectives for future fee reviews.
The fee review will explore several themes including, but not be limited to:
- 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
What has occurred?
A public consultation period was conducted which allowed customers and staff to contribute their ideas and suggestions on our fees and fee structure. Over 80 submissions were received and each has been analysed to determine their initial feasibility.
The submissions received related to the following IP rights:
- 28 Patents (34 per cent)
- 21 Trade marks (25 per cent)
- 7 Designs (8 per cent)
- 6 Plant breeder’s rights (7 per cent)
- 22 All IP rights (26 per cent)
Of these submissions, 28 were identified as potential candidates to be implemented in this fee review. A further 26 submissions have been identified as candidates for possible implementation in the future. You can read the public submissions here.
The themes around the submissions we received include:
- 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.
The analysis of the feedback submissions received earlier this year has been completed and the recommended changes have been incorporated into the overall financial modelling to determine the proposed fee changes. These changes have been captured in the draft CRIS.
Between December 2019 and February 2020, we opened a public consultation period inviting comment on the draft CRIS. We also took the opportunity to review hearing cost schedules, which were published with the draft CRIS.
What happens next?
We will continue to engage with our customers and key stakeholder groups throughout the fee review process. All feedback will be considered when developing the final CRIS and any changes to the hearing costs awarded for patents, designs and trade marks. It is anticipated that the changes to fees and costs will be implemented as of October 2020.
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