AusBiotech suggests improvements to Innovation Patent system


AusBiotech has made a submission to IP Australia’s consultation on improvements to the Innovation Patent system and the Advisory Council on Intellectual Property’s (ACIP) recommendation to abolish the system.

AusBiotech said it does not support the ACIP recommendation that the Innovation Patent system be abolished, but would instead support changes that would improve the Innovation Patent system in three key areas: raising the innovation threshold; requiring examination prior to grant; and setting an examination deadline. The submission recommended that:

  • Australia should retain a second-tier or lower-innovation-threshold patent system.
  • With appropriate modification, the Innovation Patent system can meet the needs of Australian innovators – particularly, but not limited to those of small and medium enterprises.
  • The threshold for an innovative step of an Innovation Patent should be raised.
  • Unexamined Innovation Patent applications should remain pending until an examination has been completed and the application accepted.
  • All Innovation Patents should be examined within a defined period. Three years is considered to be an appropriate maximum time for examination.

AusBiotech said it would welcome further consultation regarding the updating of the Innovation Patent system. Any changes should be properly explored with stakeholders and should provide additional opportunity to consider the merits or otherwise of any proposed changes.

AusBiotech’s comments are based on input from members and its Intellectual Property Expert Panel and from many years of working to grow Australia’s strength in biotechnology.

Intellectual property is the fundamental source of protection for innovation. It is particularly important that local innovation is not disadvantaged through a lack of harmonisation with other region’s intellectual property systems. Ensuring that Australia has a globally competitive intellectual property system is the key to our future health and wealth.

The Innovation Patent system plays a part in providing organisations with an equivalent second tier intellectual property protection option. It should be stressed that other initiatives such as a ‘patent box’ tax incentive that rewards Australian innovative businesses that make profits from qualifying patents (regular or Innovation Patents) would have much greater impact than either the abolishing or modification of the Innovation Patent system.

See the full submission is available at the AusBiotech website.