The Federal Government has proposed legislative amendments to the Patents Act 1990 to abolish the How Do You Patent An Idea, following recommendations by the Productivity Commission which it accepted last year. In addition to a few other industry groups, the Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys (IPTA) has been actively lobbying the federal government to keep the innovation patent and undertake further consultation to understand the impact abolition might have on innovation, particularly with regards to Australian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The innovation patent was introduced in May 2001 to supply a second tier patent and replace the “petty patent” system which had operated since 1979. It was made to stimulate local SMEs to innovate, primarily because it can enable a quicker and a lot more inexpensive method for protecting intellectual property that may not meet the inventive step requirement.
Second tier patent systems have been successfully operating for a long period in many overseas countries, including China and Germany where they’re called “utility models”. Our firm has helped numerous local clients protect their new and valuable products so it appears to us that abolishing the Australian innovation patent is actually a retrograde move.
Inside the following video created by IPTA, Australian company owners present their independent views regarding the innovation patent and also the ramifications should it be abolished. Australian innovators seeking IP protection may want to give advance consideration towards the Australian innovation patent system while it still exists.
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