Manufacturing News

Review of patent system for SMEs tabled

Manufacturing News

Industry minister Christian Porter has released a review of the patent system for small and medium-sized businesses, conducted by Emeritus Professor Raoul Mortley.

The Patents Accessibility Review, announced in May 2020 and completed in February this year, made 12 recommendations. It was, wrote Mortley, written in the light of the federal government’s plan to create new activity in IP intensive areas “namely the Modern Manufacturing Initiative.” 

Three main themes were identified:

  • “The need for activism on the part of government in seeking to assist small inventors with both commercialisation and patenting advice: these two are indissolubly linked and must be integrated. There are many who want assistance with both these matters but have difficulty in finding it. The report suggests direct action by a public-private partnership offering commercialisation and patenting advice, as well as coordinating the offer of funding (public and private) for critical technologies of national interest;  
  • The fear of overwhelming litigation costs, which turns people away from the patenting system. We should solve this if we are to have more participants in the IP rights system, and this is particularly important if we wish to encourage IP export, in which Australia is deficient.  
  • Export of IP: there is a problem here. The internationalisation of Australian IP – so that Australian SMEs are able to export their IP – is crucial. Becoming more familiar with accessing the IP rights system is critical in paving the way for this.”

Porter said SMEs represented 99 per cent of all Australian businesses, with a history of small business innovation showing safeguarding their IP through patenting was essential.

The report can be read here.


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