IP Australia is proceeding at pace with implementing the
Government's response to the Productivity Commission's Report
to severely curtail the rights of patent holders.
The proposed legislation and implementation is directed at
the introduction of a number of problematic changes:
1) The abolition of the Innovation Patent
system. The Innovation Patent system included a lower level
inventiveness threshold similar to the Utility Model System of
Germany, China and other countries. Allowing for lower
inventiveness patents was deemed undesirable by the
Productivity Commission and they recommended abolition. It is
now important for applicants to seriously consider filing
innovation patents before the repeal legislation is
2) Raising the inventive step requirements,
somewhere in excess of the test of the European Patent Office,
as a further restriction on grant. This is directed at
increasing the hurdle requirement for grant.
3) Requiring applicants to disclose the
"technical features" of their invention. This is an attempt to
codify in legislation the European precedent of technical
features. No doubt this will cause an excessive extra layer of
unnecessary work for applicants.
4) Introducing an objects clause to the
Patents Act 1990. Whilst the proposed clause is
ephemeral, the likely subsequent discussion by patent litigants
will increase the burden of litigation.
5) Making it easier to invoke the Crown Use
provisions or Compulsory Licensing provisions. Again,
restricting the rights of patent holders to fully exploit their
Whilst the Patents Office is conducting some public
consultation, it is highly likely the Office will proceed with
each of the above proposals.
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Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: +61 2 9777 1111
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