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Innovation patents are to remain available…for now

In November 2017, we foreshadowed the demise of the Australian innovation patent in The end is nigh for innovation patents. That article was based on draft legislation including clauses for phasing out innovation patents from about July 2019.

At the time, all signs pointed towards Parliament passing the legislation in 2018. Sentiment had been turning against the innovation patent for some years. In 2015 we wrote The death knell for the Australian innovation patent? in response to official economic analysis.

On 28 March 2018, the legislation was introduced to Parliament without the abolishing clauses. So for now innovation patents remain available as powerful tools for guarding against imitators in the Australian market.

The omission of the relevant clauses was accompanied by very little official comment. IP Australia[1] simply notes (here) that:

The Government has decided to undertake further consultation targeted at better understanding the needs of innovative SMEs before the phase out of the innovation patent occurs.

It remains to be seen just how long innovation patents are to remain available. The arguments for abolition remain, and new legislation may not be too far away.

 

 

[1] The Australian Patent Office

Authored by

resizedimage125110-Ben Ben Mott

Mechanical Engineer & Patent Attorney