net cost to Australian IP professionals is $2.5 million (unchanged)
net cost to the Australian Government is $2.8 million (unchanged).
Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the report is an analysis of all infringement court cases involving patents, trade marks or registered designs since 2008:
Rate of infringement cases by registered IPR
There have been far less design infringement cases but, having regard to the number of registered designs, litigation is in approximately the same proportion as trade mark infringement cases, but approximately only one third the rate of patent litigation.
Another surprising aspect: the New Zealand Intellectual Property Association also made submissions – which appear to have been rather influential – which strongly opposed Australia joining the Hague system.
Finally, the report is at pains to say that the costs benefit analysis of joining Hague is only one factor being considered. Anyone want to put money on Australia joining (before we sign up to anothere one-way trade agreement with, this time, the EU)?
The report gets a bit over-excited by the high proportion of certified designs which get litigated – well, duh! ?
Last year, ACIP ducked the question of keeping or abolishing the controversial innovation patent system. Last week, ACIP issued an “updated” statement in which it recommended abolition of the innovation patent system.
According to ACIP, in the intervening period, IP Australia’s Chief Economist took advantage of data that became available through the Government’s Intellectual Property Government Open Data (IPGOD) “to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of the innovation patent system”. That study disclosed:
The great majority of Australian SMEs and private inventors appear to gain little benefit from the system… Only 23 SMEs have become moderate users of the innovation patent system … The average SME or private inventor files once and never again (74%), does not receive any enforceable right (83%) and lets their patent expire early because they see its value at less than the $110-$220 cost of renewal (78%).
While 94% of innovation patent applications are made by private inventors or SMEs and they incur 95% of the regulatory costs of the system, larger firms who are already well served by the standard patent system tend to reap a disproportionate share of the benefits.
Taking into account regulatory costs and costs to public welfare generally, ACIP considers that the costs of the innovation system outweigh the benefits and so recommends abolition.