Last updated: 
22 December 2020

Indigenous Knowledge Project –  Consultations

The COVID-19 situation has impacted our consultation timelines. In early 2021, we plan to re-commence consultations on potential changes to how IP Australia examines IP applications that involve Indigenous Knowledge.

Please direct any consultation questions to To receive updates on consultations, please sign up to our mailing list.

Protection of Indigenous Knowledge in the Intellectual Property System Consultation (2018-19)

From September 2018 to 1 February 2019, IP Australia sought comments from stakeholders with an interest in how Indigenous Knowledge is protected, used and managed. Our aim was to identify policy options that relate to the IP responsibilities of IP Australia and help to promote the cultural integrity and economic potential of Indigenous Knowledge. More information can be found in our consultation paper.

A summary of the feedback we received in this consultation was released in August 2019 in our Consultation Report.

This consultation process followed the publication in March 2018 of Indigenous Knowledge: Issues for protection and management, a paper produced by the Indigenous-owned legal firm Terri Janke and Company for IP Australia and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

In November 2018, IP Australia held a series of roundtables across Australia as part of this consultation process. Participants were given the opportunity to discuss their views on the issues raised in the consultation paper, including:

  • the key issues associated with the protection and management of Indigenous Knowledge in Australia; and
  • the options that IP Australia has proposed to enhance the promotion and protection of Indigenous Knowledge in Australia.

Submissions for this consultation process closed on 1 February 2019.

We received the following non-confidential submissions to our 2018-19 consultations:

Finding the Way Consultation (2016)

In 2016 IP Australia did an initial consultation regarding Indigenous Knowledge. We sought views about Indigenous Knowledge and the intellectual property (IP) system. The responses to this consultation highlighted the need for further targeted consultation and policy development.

The closing date for submissions was 31 January 2016.

We received the following submissions to our 2016 consultations: