Further to our blog post in September on the future of the innovation patent, the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill (Productivity Commission Response Part 2 and Other Measures) (“Part 2 Bill”) passed the Australian Federal Senate on 16 October 2019.
The Australian patent system provides for the filing of “standard” and “innovation” patent applications. Innovation patents are a second tier patent filing which has a lower innovative step threshold in place of inventive step applied to standard patents. The Part 2 Bill phases out of the innovation patent system.
The Part 2 Bill will now need to pass the House of Representatives to be enacted, and commence the process to remove this useful form of patent filing from Australia patent practice. Once enacted, the provisions will prevent the filing of new innovation applications 12 months after the Bill receiving royal assent. However, rights from existing innovation patent filings will be maintained until their natural expiry date ensuring that existing rights-holders are not disadvantaged.
Whilst the sun is setting on innovation patents, there is still a window in which this form of patent protection can still be filed.