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: 127
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Low
    Issue summary:

    Two issues have been raised in relation to the operation of section 27(b) (Names of new plant varieties) of the PBR Act. The...

    History:

    On hold 24 June 2021

    Tag:
    Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 20
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Low
    Issue summary:

    In its review of enforcement of IP rights in 1999, the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) considered that while the state and territory...

     
    History:
    On hold 04-Sept-2017
    Tag:
    ACIP, Patents
  • Policy ID: 138
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Low
    Issue summary:

    The PBR Act specifies the Registrar must give public notice of surrender due to the applicant failing to pay the prescribed...

    History:

    On hold 24 June 2021

    Tag:
    Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 117
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Low
    Issue summary:

    At present designs, patents and trade mark applicants may pay renewal fees up to 6 months after the renewal date, as long...

     
    History:

    On hold 04-Sept-2017

    On hold 02-Dec-2019 

    Tag:
    Fees, Patents, Plant Breeder's Rights, Trade Marks
  • Policy ID: 90
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Low
    Issue summary:
    Currently the trade mark parallel importation defence applies when a parallel importer uses the registered mark (or a substantially identical mark). However,...
     
    History:
    On hold 08-Aug-2019
    Tag:
    Trade Marks
  • Policy ID: 128
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Low
    Issue summary:

    In its 2010 review of PBR enforcement, ACIP recommended (recommendation 12) that an on-going Expert Panel be established to provide...

    History:

    On hold 24 June 2021

    Tag:
    Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 139
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Low
    Issue summary:

    There is confusion about who can access information on the name of each variety contained in a PBR application. ...

    History:

    On hold 24 June 2021

    Tag:
    Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 92
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Low
    Issue summary:

    The concept of a common design is difficult to understand, interpret, and consistently apply due to the vague wording in s 22 (1) ss (b) of the Designs Act...

     
    History:

    Identified for action 8-Aug-2019

    Reviewed February-2021

    Tag:
    Designs
  • Policy ID: 129
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Low
    Issue summary:

    In a recent case, an objector wished the AAT to review an objection made under section 35. However, there is no decision made by the...

    History:

    On hold 24 June 2021

    Tag:
    Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 26
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Low
    Issue summary:

    A series of trade marks is made of two or more similar trade marks on the same application or registration. Very few series trade marks are filed.

    ...

     
    History:

    On hold 04-Sept-2017

    Priority reviewed August 2020

    Tag:
    Trade Marks
  • Policy ID: 140
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Low
    Issue summary:

    Subsection 35(3) of the PBR Act allows for persons to inspect applications and objections. However, only the person specified...

    History:

    On hold 24 June 2021

    Tag:
    Plant Breeder's Rights
  • Policy ID: 72
    Status: On hold
    Priority: Low
    Issue summary:

    Applicants submit image files (representations) for designs, shape trade marks and drawings for patents in 2D format. Examiners examine design, shape trade...

     
    History:
    On hold 04-Sept-2017
    Tag:
    Designs, Patents, Trade Marks

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.