Parliament has now passed the wonderfully named Intellectual Property Law Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 2 and Other Measures) Bill 2019. Text here and EM here.
When enacted, the “Act” will amongst other things:
(a) insert an objects clause, new section 2A, into the Patents Act:
The object of this Act is to provide a patent system in Australia that promotes economic wellbeing through technological innovation and the transfer and dissemination of technology. In doing so, the patent system balances over time the interests of producers, owners and users of technology and the public.
That clears things up nicely doesn’t it?
(b) suppress the granting of more “innovation” patents;
(c) harmonise the regimes for Crown use of patents and registered designs;
(d) introduces a revised regime for compulsory licensing of patents.
The suffocation of innovation patents will be achieved by introducing new sub-section 52(3) into the Patents Act.
Sub-section 52(3) will make it a requirement of the formalities check that the date of the patent (if granted) must be a date before the date the amendment came into force.
According to the form of the “Act” on Parliament’s website sub-section 52(3) will come into force 12 months after the “Act” receives Royal Assent.
Once the sub-section comes into force, therefore, it will be possible to seek further innovation patents only where they are based on filings with a date before the commencement date so, for example, a divisional application.
- The bill does not become an Act until it receives the Royal Assent. ?
- There had been reports that the phase out period would be extended to 18 months, but that does not appear to be reflected in the document on Parliament’s website. These reports also indicated that there was to be a review of the impact of “abolition” on Australian small and medium enterprises. ?