Last updated: 
5 September 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, and passed the House of Representatives on 27 June 2018.
  2. 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.
  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: 25
    Status: Policy development
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    At present, it is not possible to divide an International Registration Designating Australia (IRDA). Proposed changes to the Common Regulations under the...

     
    History:

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

    Policy development 20-Nov-2017

    Tag:
    Trade Marks
  • Policy ID: 39
    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 the automatic publication...

     
    History:
    Policy development 04-Sept-2017
    Tag:
    ACIP, Designs
  • Policy ID: 13
    Status: Policy development
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    As a result of Australia's Free Trade Agreement commitments, extensions of patent term (EoTs) are offered for up to five years for original pharmaceutical...

     
    History:
    Policy Development 04-Sept-2017
    Tag:
    Productivity Commission, Patents
  • 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: 1
    Status: Consultation
    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

    Consultation 23-Jul-2018 to 31-Aug-2018

    Tag:
    Compulsory Licensing, Productivity Commission, Patents
  • Policy ID: 28
    Status: Implementation
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    A trading or business name does not have legal personality. Neither does the name of a trust. However, unrepresented applicants who file trade mark...

     
    History:
    Implementation 04-Sept-2017
    Tag:
    Trade Marks
  • Policy ID: 2
    Status: Consultation
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:
    The Productivity Commission in its 2013 report on compulsory licensing recommended that a public interest test should replace existing criteria based on the '...
     
    History:

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

    Policy development 20-Nov-2017

    Legislative drafting 26-Mar-2018

    Consultation 23-Jul-2018 to 31-Aug-2018

    Tag:
    Compulsory Licensing, Productivity Commission, Patents
  • Policy ID: 41
    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 the introduction of a grace...

     
    History:
    Policy development 04-Sept-2017
    Tag:
    ACIP, Designs
  • Policy ID: 17
    Status: Legislative drafting
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:
    Currently regulation 21.2 prevents the Commissioner delegating powers and functions under paragraphs 210(a) and (c) of the Patents Act (power to summon...
     
    History:

    Policy development 04-Sept-2017

    Legislative drafting 26-Mar-2018

    Tag:
    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: 42
    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 recommended that IP Australia consider whether...

     
    History:
    Policy development 04-Sept-2017
    Tag:
    ACIP, Designs
  • Policy ID: 71
    Status: On hold
    Priority: High
    Issue summary:

    Currently the only courts able to hear Patent matters are the Federal Court and the State supreme courts.

    The Productivity Commission (PC) in its...

     
    History:
    On hold 04-Sept-2017
    Tag:
    Patents

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.