Last updated: 
10 June 2021

IP Australia's policy register is intended to enhance public participation in government decision making, in line with the government's Open Government National Action Plan.

The Policy Register provides a snapshot of some of the policy issues that come to our attention as a result of:

  • recommendations from IP related reviews
  • stakeholder suggestions
  • internal proposals.

The Policy Register contains a number of specific requests relating mainly to legislation. Given the dynamic nature of IP policy issues along with the intersection of IP with a growing number of public policy issues, the Policy Register reflects a sub-set of the domestic and international policy issues under consideration at any given time.  

IP Australia works closely with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources to provide advice to government on IP policy. The government determines which issues will ultimately be the subject of proposed legislative amendments. While all the issues on the register are considered, that does not mean that any legislative or policy changes will necessarily take effect.

IP Australia's current legislative agenda

Our current legislative agenda includes:

Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Bill 2020 (Designs Bill):

This Bill includes accepted recommendations from the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property's (ACIP) 2015 review of the designs system along with some other high-priority designs matters. Measures include the introduction of a grace period for filing design applications, and other improvements to clarify and simplify the designs system and provide more flexibility for designers. 

From 23 July to 28 August 2020 IP Australia consulted on an exposure draft of the Designs Bill, accompanying regulations and draft explanatory material. The submitted responses and our response are published on our Consultation Hub

On 2 December 2020 the Designs Bill was introduced into the Senate and is currently before Parliament for consideration. 

IP Australia's forward legislative agenda

IP Australia is looking at ways the intellectual property system can better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to benefit from and protect their Indigenous Knowledge. We are also considering further improvements to the registered designs system.

We would welcome feedback from stakeholders to inform future priorities for changes to the IP rights system.

In addition to commenting on specific policy issues, we welcome comments on the broad direction that future policy work could take. For example, are there particular IP rights (i.e. patents, trade marks, designs, plant breeder’s rights, Olympic insignia), themes, or aspects of the IP system, that future reforms should address?

Submissions may be made using our general Policy Register feedback form.

Further queries regarding the forward legislative agenda may be sent to Policy-Register@ipaustralia.gov.au.

How to have your say

We invite you to provide feedback on the issues on the register you are interested in. You can do so by using the policy feedback form which is available on each policy issue page.

You can submit new policy issues for our consideration. If you are considering submitting an issue we would encourage you read our Guide to providing feedback to IP Australia’s Policy Register to gain an understanding of what information is helpful to provide.

We also welcome general feedback on the policy register or our legislative agenda.

More information

Check existing policy issues

For "Completed" and "Closed" issues, please view the archive page. We have also developed a Guide to viewing updates to the Policy Register.

Check existing policy issues

For "Completed" and "Closed" issues, please view the archive page. We have also developed a Guide to viewing updates to the Policy Register.

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  • Policy ID: 98
    Status: Identified for action
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    Currently, under section 19 of the Olympic Insignia Protection Act 1987 (OIP Act) trade marks containing marks that are or resemble the Olympic motto,...

     
    History:

    Identified for action 08-Aug-2019

    Tag:
    Olympic Insignia Protection
  • Policy ID: 144
    Status: Identified for action
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    Protection of essentially derived varieties (EDVs) in the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act aims to balance the interests of the breeder...

    History:

    Identified for action 24 June 2021

    Tag:
    Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 123
    Status: Identified for action
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    The PBR legislation is silent on the requirements and processes for accrediting a PBR Qualified Person (QP), resulting in uncertainty.
    There are...

     
    History:

    Identified for action 24 June 2021

    Tag:
    Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 35
    Status: In Parliament
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    Currently, section 19 of the Designs Act 2003 lists the factors to be considered in assessing whether a design is substantially similar in overall...

     
    History:

    Policy Development 04-Sept-2017

    Consultation 31-Oct-2019 to 20-Dec-2019

    Policy Development 20-Dec-2019 to 12-May-2020

    Legislative drafting 12-May-2020 to 23-Jul-2020

    Consultation 23-Jul-2020 to 28-Aug-2020

    Legislative drafting 28-Aug-2020 to 02-Dec-2020

    In Parliament 02-Dec-2020

    Tag:
    ACIP, Designs
  • Policy ID: 46
    Status: In Parliament
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    In its 2015 'Review of the Designs System' in Australia, the former Advisory Council on...

     
    History:

    On hold 04-Sept-2017

    Consultation 31-Oct-2019 to 20-Dec-2019

    Policy development 20-Dec-2019 to 12-May-2020

    Legislative drafting 12-May-2020 to 23-Jul-2020

    Consultation 23-Jul-2020 to 28-Aug-2020

    Legislative drafting 28-Aug-2020 to 02-Dec-2020

    In Parliament 02-Dec-2020

    Tag:
    ACIP, Designs
  • Policy ID: 124
    Status: Identified for action
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    There is uncertainty surrounding the timing of revocation should a PBR be revoked under paragraph 50(1)(a). Clarity is required on...

     
    History:

    Identified for action 24 June 2021

    Tag:
    Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 67
    Status: In Parliament
    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

    Policy Development 01-Jul-2019

    Consultation 31-Oct-2019 to 20-Dec-2019

    Policy development 20-Dec-2019 to 12-May-2020

    Legislative drafting 12-May-2020 to 02-Dec-2020

    In Parliament 02-Dec-2020

    Tag:
    ACIP, Designs
  • Policy ID: 114
    Status: Identified for action
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    IP Australia has received a stakeholder submission about the repeal of Section 144 of the Patents Act 1990 (Patents Act). Section 144 prohibits...

     
    History:

    On hold 1-Apr-2020

    Reviewed February-2021

    Tag:
    Patents
  • Policy ID: 125
    Status: Identified for action
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    The drafting of paragraph 44(3)(b) of the PBR Act does not appear to give effect to its intention, which is to give the...

     
    History:

    Identified for action 24 June 2021

    Tag:
    Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 49
    Status: Identified for action
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    While Plant Breeder's Rights (PBR) owners may label their varieties with the registered variety name or synonym there is no mandatory requirement to do so....

     
    History:

    On hold 04-Sept-2017

    Reviewed 24 June 2021

    Tag:
    Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 126
    Status: Identified for action
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    PBR rights holders and applicants can apply to extend a number of time periods in the legislation under various circumstances. The...

     
    History:

    Identified for action 24 June 2021

    Tag:
    Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 38
    Status: Legislative drafting
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

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

     
    History:

    On hold 04-Sept-2017

    Consultation 17-Dec-2019 to 16-Feb-2020

    Legislative drafting 17 Feb 2020

    Tag:
    ACIP, Fees, Designs

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.
Status
Identified for action IP Australia has received evidence to the extent that the issue warrants further policy development and consultation.
Policy development IP Australia is working on the policy options for addressing this issue.
Consultation Public consultation is ongoing on this issue.
Legislative drafting The Government has approved legislative action on this issue. Appropriate legislative amendments are being prepared.
In Parliament

A Bill is being considered by Parliament to address this issue.

Implementation An issue which does not require legislation, but which IP Australia is taking non-legislative action to address.
Completed An issue where a policy change has been implemented.
Closed

No action will be taken on this issue now or in the future.

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.