Policy ID: 
Policy development
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, and this has costs on the wider economy as a result of granting exclusive rights to inventions of low quality or social value. The PC recommended that the level of inventive step in Australia be raised to be equivalent to the highest level in larger markets for technology. The PC considered that the European standard was the most appropriate, and that the Australian test should be amended to more closely match Europe. The government accepted the recommendation.


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

Policy development 1-Sep-2018

Priority reviewed August 2020


The Government has accepted the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to raise the threshold for inventive step, but decided to remove this measure from the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 2 and Other Measures) Bill 2018. The Government has decided to undertake further analysis and consultation with stakeholders before amending the inventive step requirements.

Productivity Commission