Last updated: 
6 November 2019

This is a guide to providing input to the IP Australia policy register. Your feedback helps IP Australia effectively allocate its resources and provide advice to government on the development of IP policy.

You do not need to answer all the questions below when providing input, but it is helpful to answer what you can. If you have additional information that you feel is relevant, please include that too.

1. Commenting on issues already on the policy register

  • Do you support the proposed solution to the issue? Why/why not?
  • Do you think there is a better way of solving the issue? Why is it better?
  • Is there an important aspect of the issue that has been overlooked?
  • Can you see any unintended consequences resulting from this policy proposal?
  • Do you agree with the current priority assigned to this issue? Why/why not?

2. Submitting a new policy issue

  • What is the issue and why is it a problem?
  • Who is affected by the issue, and how are they affected?
  • How would you fix the problem? Is there more than one solution?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the solution(s) you have proposed?

3. Providing evidence

Good policy development uses evidence and insights from a range of different perspectives. The type of information that can constitute evidence is broad. While independent sources or statistical evidence will help build a convincing case, other types of evidence such as case studies are still useful in contributing to the understanding of a policy problem or issue. Examples of the types of evidence are provided in the table below.

IP Australia acknowledges that sometimes stakeholders may not wish to publicise examples of the problem occurring in practice, due to the examples being confidential or privileged or commercially-sensitive. If you clearly mark information in your submission as ‘confidential’ IP Australia will treat it confidentially in accordance with its Privacy Notice.

Examples of types of evidence used in the development of policy

Type of evidence

Example submission

Application to policy development

Peer-reviewed quantitative studies

“The following article in the Journal of IP Economics found that a statistically-significant number of cases encountered this problem.”

Peer-reviewed (from the relevant area of expertise) studies based on robust statistical analysis are likely to be the best source for evidence, where available.

Peer-reviewed qualitative studies

“The following article in the Journal of IP Law identified a loophole in the legislation and several cases where problems arose.”

Further quantitative evidence may be required to establish how widespread the problem is in practice.

Unreviewed quantitative studies

“We have searched the IPGOD dataset and found that 5,172 applications have encountered the problem over the last 5 years.”

Further validation of the methodology may need to be undertaken to determine the statistical significance of the data and its relationship to the problem.

Public examples or case studies

“The court cases of White v Brown and Jones v Smith all demonstrate users encountering the problem.”

Further quantitative and qualitative evidence may be required to establish how widespread the problem is in practice along with a practical analysis of the context in which the decisions were made.

Confidential examples

“We have encountered this problem several times, details of which we provide in confidence.”

Confidentiality means that other stakeholders cannot directly challenge or corroborate the examples.

Comparison with other jurisdictions

“The Australian system is out of alignment with the system in Japan, where cases are dealt with differently.”

A problem in Australia will need to be established and/or articulation of the comparative features and advantages of the overseas system.

Theoretical analysis only

“The provision could be interpreted by an Australian court such that users would encounter problems.”

Further evidence may be required to establish how widespread the problem is or is likely to become in practice, along with an analysis of the likely impacts.

Unsupported assertions only

“We think this is a serious problem and would like it to be addressed.”

The evidence provided is not verifiable or able to be peer-reviewed.

 

Note: The evidence above is listed in order of most to least persuasive, however this is approximate and only intended as a general guide. Each individual piece of evidence will be assessed on its merits. For example, if numerous detailed and credible confidential examples are provided showing businesses suffering significant losses, then this may be more persuasive than a single public example of one court case that demonstrated only a small loss to the litigant.

4. Other considerations

While evidence provided to IP Australia will be considered in prioritising issues on the policy register, there are other considerations that need to be taken into account. For example, Australia’s international obligations, balancing the interest of all stakeholders, complexity of the proposed change (legislative vs non-legislative), balancing reform of the IP system across the four rights, and alignment with Government priorities.

You may also be interested to know that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published its guidelines to using evidence from research to support policy-making, available here.