Tough rules driving down innovation?

Has Australia really lost its innovation spark? Or have we simply made it harder to get those ideas patented? Australian residents are now filing more patents overseas than they domestically after changes raised the bar for inventive thresholds.

The number of patent applications filed over a period is often used as a measure of an nation’s success in innovation. But the latest figures released by IP Australia show there’s been a decline in the number of applications filed.

Australia has a two-tier patent system. A standard patent provides exclusive rights in the invention for 20 years and an innovation patent that only grants eight years of protection.

The main difference is in the level of inventiveness that each application is assessed against by IP Australia. Logically, a standard patent is assessed at a higher level in terms of advances over existing technologies.

Intellectual Property (IP) rights are issued by territory. This means that registration of IP must be sought in each country that an IP owner wishes to have legal protection for their invention.

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