Draft Report on Australia's Intellectual Property Arrangements

Date: 2016-05-02
Author: Stuart Irvine

Australia’s Productivity Commission has released a draft report regarding intellectual property (IP) in Australia. The draft report covers various IP rights and provides the Commission’s draft findings and recommendations in respect of those rights.

In August 2015, the Productivity Commission was asked to review Australia’s Intellectual Property Arrangements.

The inquiry was initiated by the then Treasurer, Joe Hockey, with the following broad purpose:

The inquiry will examine whether Australia has the right balance between promoting competition and protecting intellectual property, while considering our international trade obligations.

The Commission released its draft report on 29 April 2016, available here.

In addition to the full report, the Commission has published a short document including its draft findings and recommendations, available here.

The Draft Report

The Commission has investigated, analysed, and made draft recommendations and findings on various facets of Australia’s IP system. These include:

  • Copyright
  • Patents
  • Registered designs
  • Trade Marks
  • Plant breeder’s rights
  • Circuit layout rights

As noted, the draft findings and recommendations of the Commission are available here.

Submissions and final report

The Commission has requested written submissions on the draft report by 3 June 2016, and aims to release its final report in August 2016.

Given the expansive terrain covered by the draft report (and its sheer length – around 600 pages) this is an aggressive timeline.

Queries and questions

If you have any queries in respect of the draft findings/recommendations made by the Commission, or the standing of the draft report from a legislative review perspective, please get in touch.

To assist, key contacts for various areas covered by the report are as follows:


The innovation patent system                                  John Dower Partner


Business method & software patents                  Carl Harrap Partner


  Pharmaceutical patents                                         Damian Slizys Partner


 Registered designs                                              Thor North Partner


Plant breeder's rights                                             Tom Gumley Partner



Related articles

For more information regarding the Draft Report, see:

Productivity Commission's Draft Report on Intellectual Property: Implications for the Pharmaceutical Industry (by Herbert Smith Freehills)

The Right Policy Prescription for Pharmaceutical Patents? The Australian Productivity Commission Proposes a New Formula (by Freehills Patent Attorneys)