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Patents accessibility review

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Publication Date: 
May 2021

We commissioned Emeritus Professor Raoul Mortley AO to review the accessibility of the Australian patents system. This was part of the Australian Government’s work to improve our intellectual property (IP) framework.

The independent review focussed on Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the barriers they face to protect innovations in Australia and overseas.

Three main themes emerged from the review:

  • Small inventors need commercialisation and patenting advice.
  • Fear of litigation costs are turning people away from the patenting system.
  • The export of IP by Australian small businesses is crucial for Australia.

Findings and recommendations

The review report outlines 3 key findings and 16 recommendations.

It found that government patenting support is adequate, but IP awareness remains low among SMEs. Professor Mortley recommends proactive government outreach to engage SMEs with the patenting system.

Public consultation

The research team conducted over 50 interviews with stakeholders including :

  • SMEs
  • patent attorneys
  • judges
  • industry peak bodies
  • academics
  • universities

The interviews informed questions and ideas for the discussion paper. We invited the public to respond to the paper and received 22 submissions.

View the discussion paper and public consultation on our Consultation hub.

Terms of reference

Parliament laid down the Patents Accessibility Review terms of reference [544KB PDF] [61KB DOCX].

Read more

Contact us

Email PAR@industry.gov.au