Last updated: 
15 October 2021

IP Australia's policy register is intended to enhance public participation in government decision making, in line with the government's Open Government National Action Plan.

The Policy Register provides a snapshot of some of the policy issues that come to our attention as a result of:

  • recommendations from IP related reviews
  • stakeholder suggestions
  • internal proposals.

The Policy Register contains a number of specific requests relating mainly to legislation. Given the dynamic nature of IP policy issues along with the intersection of IP with a growing number of public policy issues, the Policy Register reflects a sub-set of the domestic and international policy issues under consideration at any given time.  

IP Australia works closely with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources to provide advice to government on IP policy. The government determines which issues will ultimately be the subject of proposed legislative amendments. While all the issues on the register are considered, that does not mean that any legislative or policy changes will necessarily take effect.

IP Australia's legislative agenda

IP Australia is looking at ways the intellectual property system can better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to benefit from and protect their Indigenous Knowledge. We are also considering further improvements to the registered designs system.

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?

Submissions may be made using our general Policy Register feedback form.

Further queries regarding the forward legislative agenda may be sent through our Contact Us form.

Updates to the Designs Act

The Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Act 2021, which amends the Designs Act 2003 (Designs Act), received Royal Assent on 10 September 2021. The amendments to the Designs Act clarify and simplify the designs system and provide more flexibility for designers, with a key reform of a new grace period for design applications.

How to have your say

We invite you to provide feedback on the issues on the register you are interested in. You can do so by using the policy feedback form which is available on each policy issue page.

You can submit new policy issues for our consideration. If you are considering submitting an issue we would encourage you to read our Guide to providing feedback to IP Australia’s Policy Register to gain an understanding of what information is helpful to provide.

We also welcome general feedback on the policy register or our legislative agenda.

More information

Check existing policy issues

For "Completed" and "Closed" issues, please view the archive page. We have also developed a Guide to viewing updates to the Policy Register.

Search "Title, Policy ID, Issue Summary and Comments"
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  • Policy ID: 36
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Medium
    Issue summary:

    In its 2015 'Review of the Designs System' in Australia, the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) recommended that Australia should...

     
    History:

    Policy development 04-Sept-2017

    Consultation 29-Mar-2018 to 31May-2018

    Policy development 1-Jun-2018 to 19-Dec-2018

    On hold 20-Dec-2018

    Priority reviewed August 2020

    Tag:
    ACIP, Designs
  • Policy ID: 11
    Status: Policy development
    Priority: Medium
    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...

     
    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

    Policy development 1-Sep-2018

    Priority reviewed August 2020

    Tag:
    Productivity Commission, Patents
  • Policy ID: 77
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Medium
    Issue summary:

    Under section 24 of the Patents Act, a document is...

     
    History:
    On hold 23-Apr-2018
    Tag:
    Patents
  • Policy ID: 133
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Medium
    Issue summary:

    Under the Plant Varieties Rights Act 1987 the duration of protection began from the initial acceptance of the application....

    History:

    On hold 24 June 2021

    Tag:
    Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 37
    Status: Policy development
    Priority: Medium
    Issue summary:

    Currently, registration of a design occurs following a formalities check and substantive examination occurs only on request. If the design is found to have...

     
    History:

    Policy development 04-Sept-2017

    Consultation 31-Oct-2019 to 20-Dec-2019

    Policy Development 20-Dec-2019 to 12-May-2020

    On hold 12-May-2020

    Status and priority reviewed August-2020

    Reviewed February-2021

    Tag:
    ACIP, Designs
  • Policy ID: 56
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Medium
    Issue summary:

    Document supply fees for IP rights have recently been consolidated into one fee for a supply of a single document, and a second fee for supply of a case...

     
    History:
    On hold 04-Sept-2017
    Tag:
    Fees, Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 78
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Medium
    Issue summary:

    An applicant can supply a missing part of an application without moving the filing date, if the missing part was contained in a basic document or a...

     
    History:
    On hold 23-Apr-2018
    Tag:
    Patents
  • Policy ID: 15
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Medium
    Issue summary:

    Australian patent law has a longstanding requirement for a complete specification to disclose the best method known to the applicant of performing the...

     
    History:

    On hold 04-Sept-2017

    Reviewed August 2020

    Tag:
    Patents
  • Policy ID: 99
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Medium
    Issue summary:
    This proposal would re-categorise oppositions to the extension of term of pharmaceutical patents under section 75 of the Patents Act as procedural, rather than...
     
    History:
    On hold 08-Aug-2019
    Tag:
    Patents
  • Policy ID: 146
    Status: Identified for action
    Priority: Medium
    Issue summary:

    The farmers’ exemption (section 17 of the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994) allows a person engaged in farming activities to harvest propagating material...

     
    History:
    Tag:
    Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 18
    Status: Policy development
    Priority: Medium
    Issue summary:

    In rare circumstances, it is possible for the disclosure of a priority document to be novelty destroying for a subsequent application by the same applicant...

     
    History:

    Policy Development 04-Sept-2017

    Reviewed February 2021:

    Tag:
    Patents
  • Policy ID: 80
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Medium
    Issue summary:

    Section 24 of the Patents Act allows applicants who have...

     
    History:
    On hold 23-Apr-2018
    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.
Status
Identified for action IP Australia has received evidence to the extent that the issue warrants further policy development and consultation.
Policy development IP Australia is working on the policy options for addressing this issue.
Consultation Public consultation is ongoing on this issue.
Legislative drafting The Government has approved legislative action on this issue. Appropriate legislative amendments are being prepared.
In Parliament

A Bill is being considered by Parliament to address this issue.

Implementation An issue which does not require legislation, but which IP Australia is taking non-legislative action to address.
Completed An issue where a policy change has been implemented.
Closed

No action will be taken on this issue now or in the future.

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.