Raising the Bar

Closed 4 Apr 2011

Opened 1 Mar 2009

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The IP Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012 is Australia's biggest intellectual property (IP) system overhaul in twenty years.  The legislative reforms aimed to strike a balance between public and private interests and provide a more robust framework to support and encourage innovation. 

The Raising the Bar Act addressed the following six key areas: 

  • Raising the quality of granted patents: Australia patentability standards are now more closely aligned to international standards. 

  • Free access to patented inventions for regulatory approvals and research: ensuring experimentation and approval for generic manufacturers is not delayed or negatively impacted by patents. 

  • Reducing delays in resolution of patent and trade mark applications: Changes to the Patent and Trade Mark Acts reduce several timeframes associated with examination and opposition. 

  • Assisting the operations of the IP profession: Patent and trade mark attorneys now have the ability to register themselves as incorporations. 

  • Improving mechanisms for trade mark and copyright enforcement: the Act increases the penalties for trade mark infringement, bringing the Australian system into line with our major trading partners. 

  • Simplifying the IP system: the Act gets rid of unnecessary hurdles and simplifies the application process. These changes are designed to make the IP system easier to use in a global setting. 

You can read a summary of important legislative changes made by the Raising the Bar Act. 

Policy Development 

In 2009, IP Australia undertook initial consultation on undertook two rounds of consultation for the proposed ‘Raising the Bar’ reforms. The consultation papers are available below.  

From 3 March to 4 April 2011, IP Australia released an Exposure Draft of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2011 for consultation. 


  • Anyone from any background


  • Patents
  • Trade marks
  • Designs
  • Plant breeder's rights