On 23 October 2017, IP Australia released draft legislation for public comment which includes measures to implement aspects of the Australian Government response to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Australia’s IP system (reported here).

Both the Productivity Commission and the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property had recommended that the innovation patent system be abolished, a recommendation that the Australian government has supported.

The draft legislation is provided in the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 1 and Other Measures) Bill 2017.

The draft Bill and regulations include amendments to abolish the innovation patent system (as well as arrangements to maintain existing rights). Although this is the main change, some other changes include:

  • expand the scope of essentially derived variety declarations in the Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR) Act
  • reduce the grace period for filing non-use applications under the Trade Marks Act
  • clarify the circumstances in which the parallel importation of trade marked goods does not infringe a registered trade mark
  • repeal section 76A of the Patents Act, which requires patentees to provide certain data relating to pharmaceutical patents with an extended term.

The draft legislation may be found here

Written submissions by interested parties are due by 4 December 2017. The Bill is intended for introduction to Parliament in early 2018.