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:
- 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, and passed the House of Representatives on 27 June 2018.
- Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission response Part 2 and other measures) Bill: This Bill includes 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. Consultation on the exposure draft of this legislation commenced on 23 July 2018 and will conclude on 31 August 2018.
- 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.