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 current legislative agenda
Our current legislative agenda consists of three main parts:
- Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission response Part 1 and other measures) Act 2018: This Act received Royal Assent on 24 August 2018. Further information on the Act and its commencement details are available.
- Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission response Part 2 and other measures) Bill: This Bill would implement the Government’s response to a number of recommendations from the 2016 Productivity Commission report into Australia’s intellectual property arrangements, where further consultation on the implementation approach is needed. These include inventive step reforms for patents, introducing an objects clause into the Patents Act 1990, and changes to Crown use and compulsory licensing of patents and designs. Consultation on the exposure draft of this legislation took place from 23 July to 31 August 2018. The Government did not introduce the Bill to Parliament in 2018 due to other priorities. The Government remains committed to the reforms and subject to priorities intends to introduce the Bill to Parliament in 2019.
- 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 (ACIP) 2015 review of the designs system along with some other high-priority designs matters. Consultation on a number of policy proposals for inclusion in this Bill is proposed to commence in 2019.
As the House of Representatives was dissolved on 11 April 2019 for an election, the Caretaker Conventions apply until the election result is clear or, if there is a change of government, until the new government is appointed. Stakeholders may make submissions on the policy register or forward legislative agenda during the caretaker period. However, please be aware that IP Australia must remain apolitical, and will not provide any policy advice to government (including on policy priorities) or comment on or publish any submissions relating to the policy register or forward legislative agenda until after the caretaker period ends (except rare urgent circumstances where immediate action is warranted, when action will only be taken in consultation with the Opposition).
IP Australia’s Corporate Plan 2018/19 includes development of its policy and legislative agenda in consultation with stakeholders under Horizon 1 (2018-2022). 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 as a priority?
Submissions may be made using our general Policy Register feedback form.
Further queries regarding the forward legislative agenda may be directed to:
- Andrew Wilkinson (02 6225 6199 or Andrew.Wilkinson@ipaustralia.gov.au)
- Lisa Bailey (02 6222 3695 or Lisa.Bailey@ipaustralia.gov.au)
- Paul Gardner (02 6283 2145 or Paul.Gardner@ipaustralia.gov.au)