Last updated: 
3 July 2018

IP Australia's policy issue register is a list of issues that we are considering or working on for policy action or legislative amendment.

Issues come to our attention as a result of:

  • government priorities
  • recommendations from IP related reviews
  • stakeholder suggestions
  • international developments
  • internal proposals.

The issues relate to the IP rights we administer: patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeder's rights (PBR).

Why this register is important

This register aims to enhance public participation in government decision making. This is consistent with the Government's Open Government National Action Plan.

We invite feedback on each individual issue with an accompanying form. You can also submit new policy issues for our consideration. Issues on this register are being considered. This does not mean that any legislative or policy changes will necessarily take effect.

We work closely with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to advise the Government on IP policy. The Government determines which issues will ultimately be the subject of proposed legislative amendments.

IP Australia's forward legislative agenda

Our proposed forward legislative agenda consists of three Bills that will be developed over the next few years:

  1. Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission response Part 1 and other measures) Bill: This Bill includes a number of accepted recommendations from the Productivity Commission's 2016 report on Australia's IP arrangements (PC report) including, the PBR recommendation and the majority of the trade marks recommendations. This Bill 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. Remaining measures from the draft IP Laws Amendment Bill 2017 have been put on hold pending further consideration at a later date. Consultation on the exposure draft of this legislation was conducted from 23 October to 4 December 2017. This Bill was introduced to Parliament on 28 March 2018.
  2. Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission response Part 2 and other measures) Bill: Subject to Government approval, this Bill will include a number of accepted recommendations from the PC report where further consultation on the implementation approach is needed. These include the inventive step reforms, introducing an objects clause into the Patents Act 1990, and changes to Crown use and compulsory licensing of patents and designs. Consultation on a number of policy proposals for inclusion in this Bill occurred from 30 August 2017 to 17 November 2017 and the Bill is intended for introduction to Parliament in 2018, subject to Government priorities. In addition, it is proposed that a number of technical fixes and red-tape reducing measures will also be included in this Bill.
  3. Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (A modern designs system) Bill: Subject to Government approval, this Bill will include accepted recommendations from the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property's 2015 review of the designs system and some other high-priority designs matters. Consultation on a number of policy proposals for inclusion in this Bill is proposed to commence in 2018-19.

Feedback

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More information

Check existing policy issues

For "Completed" and "Closed" issues, please view the archive page.

Search "Title, Policy ID, Issue Summary and Comments"
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  • Policy ID: 32
    Status: In Parliament
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:
    Section 123 of the Trade Marks Act 1995 provides a defence against infringement for the parallel importation of trade marked goods or services. The existing...
     
    History:
    Legislative drafting 04-Sept-2017
    Consultation 23-Oct-2017 to 4-Dec-2017
    Policy development 5-Dec-2017
    In Parliament 28-Mar-2018
    Tag:
    Productivity Commission, Trade Marks
  • Policy ID: 67
    Status: On hold
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    Upon or after filing a design application, an applicant may currently request either publication or registration of the design. A design application lapses...

     
    History:
    On hold 04-Sept-2017
    Tag:
    Designs
  • Policy ID: 10
    Status: Consultation
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:
    The Productivity Commission in its 2016 report into Australia's IP arrangements, and the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property in its 2015 review of...
     
    History:
    Legislative drafting 04-Sept-2017
    Consultation 23-Oct-2017 to 4-Dec-2017
    Policy development 5-Dec-2017
    Consultation 28-Mar-2018
    Tag:
    ACIP, Productivity Commission, Patents
  • Policy ID: 43
    Status: Identified for action
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    In its 2015 'Review of the Designs System' in Australia, the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) recommended that the treatment of...

     
    History:
    Policy development 04-Sept-2017
    Tag:
    ACIP, Designs
  • Policy ID: 22
    Status: Legislative drafting
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    Currently, applicants for IP rights who file first overseas in a foreign language must provide a translation of all foreign-language documents into English...

     
    History:

    Policy development 04-Sept-2017

    Legislative drafting 26-Mar-2018

    Tag:
    Patents
  • Policy ID: 55
    Status: In Parliament
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    Patents, trade marks and designs legislation allow the courts to award additional damages for infringement on top of those to compensate for the harm caused...

     
    History:
    Legislative drafting 04-Sept-2017
    Consultation 23-Oct-2017 to 4-Dec-2017
    Policy development 5-Dec-2017
    In Parliament 28-Mar-2018
    Tag:
    ACIP, Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 33
    Status: In Parliament
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    The Productivity Commission (PC) review of Australia's IP arrangements in 2016 found that the trade marks register is 'cluttered' with trade marks that are...

     
    History:
    Legislative drafting 04-Sept-2017
    Consultation 23-Oct-2017 to 4-Dec-2017
    Policy development 5-Dec-2017
    In Parliament 28-Mar-2018
    Tag:
    Productivity Commission, Trade Marks
  • Policy ID: 11
    Status: Legislative drafting
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:
    The Productivity Commission (PC) in its 2016 inquiry into Australia's IP arrangements considered that the standard of inventive step in Australia is too low,...
     
    History:

    Consultation 30-Aug-2017 to 17-Nov-2017

    Policy development 20-Nov-2017

    Legislative drafting 26-Mar-2018

    Tag:
    Productivity Commission, Patents
  • Policy ID: 23
    Status: Legislative drafting
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    While the Designs Act allows for the Seal of the Designs Office to be kept electronically, which means that IP Australia can supply electronic certified...

     
    History:

    Policy development 04-Sept-2017

    Legislative drafting 26-Mar-2018

    Tag:
    Designs, Patents, Trade Marks
  • Policy ID: 1
    Status: Legislative drafting
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:
    The Productivity Commission (PC) in its 2013 report on compulsory licensing recommended that the Patents Act be amended to clarify the circumstances and...
     
    History:

    Consultation 30-Aug-2017 to 17-Nov-2017

    Policy development 20-Nov-2017

    Legislative drafting 26-Mar-2018

    Tag:
    Compulsory Licensing, Productivity Commission, Patents
  • Policy ID: 81
    Status: Identified for action
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    Currently, applicants for registration of trade marks or registration of designs who claim priority from their filings abroad can be required to provide...

     
    History:
    Policy development 23-Apr-2018
    Tag:
    Designs, Trade Marks
  • Policy ID: 59
    Status: Implementation
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    IP Australia publishes a range of personal information of applicants and owners in accordance with IP legislation and the Australian Privacy Principles....

     
    History:
    Implementation 23-Apr-2018
    Tag:
    Designs, Patents, Plant Breeder's Rights, Trade Marks

Legend

Priority
High Action will be taken by IP Australia at the next available opportunity
Medium Desirable for action by IP Australia in the medium term, but will not be addressed immediately
Low Limited evidence or justification for change at the present time. Unlikely to be progressed by IP Australia in the short or medium term.
No priority assigned IP Australia is yet to complete an assessment of priority of this issue.
Status
Consultation Public consultation is ongoing on this issue.
Implementation An issue which does not require legislation, but which IP Australia is taking non-legislative action to address.
Identified for action IP Australia has received evidence to the extent that the issue warrants further policy development and consultation.
In Parliament A Bill is being considered by Parliament to address this issue.
Policy Development IP Australia is working on the policy options for addressing this issue.

On Hold This issue is not being progressed by IP Australia at the present time, but is recorded on the register for potential work by IP Australia in future.
Legislative drafting The Government has approved legislative action on this issue. Appropriate legislative amendments are being prepared.