Second tier innovation patents to be phased out in Australia

On 26 February 2020 the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 2 and Other Measures) Bill 2019 received Royal Assent, signalling the ‘beginning of the end’ for the innovation patent in Australia.
Passing of this bill into law triggers the key deadlines, by which second tier innovation patents will be phased out of the Australian patent landscape. The key dates are as follows:

25 August 2021 – Final date for filing a new innovation patent application.

25 August 2029 – Final date for converting a standard Australian patent to an innovation patent and/or filing a divisional innovation patent application, in either case based on an application filed on or before 25 August 2021.
Innovation patents are used to protect technologies which are innovative, but not necessarily inventive, and have an 8 year term from the date of filing. As such, as of 26 August 2029 all granted innovation patents in Australia will have expired, thereby marking the official removal of innovation patents from the Australian patent system.

For some time, the Australian Government has been considering abolishing innovation patents. Now their fate is sealed, despite strong submissions for their retention, from both industry and the patent attorney profession. While the opportunity is still available, innovators should consider whether they wish to file any innovation patents in Australia.

This article was written by Dr Benjamin Cleary.

If you have any specific enquiries about the changes to the innovation patent system or how this may affect your commercial interests, please contact Paul Jones or Debra Tulloch.

Jones Tulloch’s articles are provided as general information only, current at the date of publication. They do not constitute professional (patent and trade mark attorney) advice and should not be relied upon as such. If you need specific professional advice, for example in relation to a matter of interest arising from this communication, please contact us.