Further to our recently published articles on the Final Report of the Productivity Commission concerning Australia’s Intellectual Property Arrangements and on the Exposure Drafts of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2017 and Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Regulations 2017, IP Australia released the following statement on 19 April, 2017 regarding the further progress of the legislation:

IP Australia has decided to put these legislative proposals on hold, until after the Government has finalised the response to the Productivity Commission’s report on Australia’s intellectual property arrangements. This is because if any legislative amendments are required as a result of the Government’s response, two intellectual property Bills might be in Parliament at the same time, leading to great complexity and uncertainty. We will continue to provide updates on the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2017 as matters progress.

The decision will be a disappointing one to many stakeholders, in particular those who have made Submissions on the draft legislation. In particular, for stakeholders in the plant breeder’s rights sector, given that the Productivity Commission Final Report makes only 1 PBR-specific recommendation (to extend the provisions allowing declarations that a registered variety is an essentially derived variety to apply to all varieties and not only registered varieties), the indefinite delay in the progression of the draft legislation means the continued application of inadequate plant breeder’s rights laws in Australia for no substantive reason.