Patents Accessibility Review identifies barriers to small inventors

The Patents Accessibility Review report has found innovation barriers facing Australia’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Photo of small business owners working together to design a system.

We aim to help Australian small and medium sized businesses navigate Australia’s patent system. Image credit: Getty

We commissioned Independent expert Emeritus Professor Raoul Mortley AO to review the accessibility of the patent system in Australia.

The Patents Accessibility Review focussed on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and their low use of the patent system. Professor Mortley consulted a range of stakeholders including SMEs and industry peak bodies.

The review found that government costs and processing times are not barriers to patenting. It found that small inventors avoid the patent system because they fear potential litigation costs.

The review also uncovered the lack of intellectual property (IP) awareness among respondents. Despite IP Australia's quality educational resources, many SMEs are unfamiliar with patenting.

The review report outlines 16 recommendations to help SMEs protect their inventions.

Professor Mortley recommends government outreach to increase public awareness of the patent system. He also recommends accessible options for SMEs looking to enforce their IP rights.

The government is considering Professor Mortley’s findings and recommendations.

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