24 September 2012: The Government is considering stronger standards for innovation patents in order to discourage misuse of the IP system. Innovation patents were introduced in 2001, and are intended to encourage IP protection for small to medium enterprises.
As opposed to standard patents, which require an inventive step, innovate patents require only an innovative step. This has meant that obvious minor improvements to inventions have become patentable since the Federal Court’s Delnorth decision in 2009. There is some evidence larger companies are misusing innovation patent applications.
The Government is inviting comment on the proposed changes to the innovation patent system by 25 October. Comments can be submitted at http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/about-us/public-consultations/innovation-patent-consultation/
This page also provides more information about the proposed changes.