Title

IP Australia report on performance

A die making an imprint on metal

Annual performance statements

Statement by the Director General

I, Patricia Kelly, as the accountable authority of IP Australia, present the annual performance statements of IP Australia for 2015–16, as required under section 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). In my opinion, these statements accurately present IP Australia’s performance in the reporting period and comply with section 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

Patricia Kelly
13 September 2016

Overview

IP Australia is the agency responsible for administering Australia’s IP rights system—specifically, patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeder’s rights.

IP Australia’s vision is to create a world-leading IP system building prosperity for Australia. It works towards this vision by achieving five purposes:

  • deliver robust IP rights and satisfy its customers in terms of timeliness and value for money
  • successfully undertake functions associated with persons wishing to qualify for registration as Patent and/or Trade Mark Attorneys and provide effective support to the Professional Standards Board
  • facilitate access to the domestic and international intellectual property system and promote understanding of their value in line with Australia’s interests
  • influence the development of effective intellectual property systems in line with Australia’s interests
  • policy and legislative input to foster Australian innovation by shaping the development of the IP system both domestically and abroad.

IP Australia operates independently of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science on financial matters, and with delegated authority on other matters, and recovers more than 98 per cent of its costs by charging fees for its IP rights services.

Performance reporting structure

The IP Australia Annual Performance Statement reports performance in line with the 2015–16 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) programmes, key performance indicators, and commitments in the 2015–16 Corporate Plan.

Table 56: Mapping of the 2015–16 Annual Performance Statement to the 2015–16 Portfolio Budget Statements and the 2015–16 Corporate Plan
2015–16 Portfolio Budget Statements 2015–16 Annual Performance Statement 2015–16 Corporate Plan
Programme 1.1: Rights Administration and Professional Registration Purpose 1: Rights administration IP Australia will deliver robust IP rights and satisfy its customers in terms of timeliness and value for money
Programme 1.1: Rights Administration and Professional Registration Purpose 2: Professional registration IP Australia will successfully undertake its functions associated with persons wishing to qualify for registration as Patent and/or Trade Mark Attorneys and will provide effective support to the Professional Standards Board
Programme 1.2: Education, Awareness and International Engagement Purpose 3: Access and promotion IP Australia will facilitate access to the domestic and international intellectual property system and promote understanding of their value among its stakeholders in line with Australia’s interests
Programme 1.2: Education, Awareness and International Engagement Purpose 4: International engagement IP Australia will influence the development of effective IP systems in line with Australia’s interests
Programme 1.3: Advice to Government Purpose 5: Development of the IP system IP Australia’s programme of policy and legislative input will foster Australian innovation by shaping the development of the IP system both domestically and abroad

Purpose 1: Rights administration

Objectives

IP Australia will deliver robust IP rights and satisfy its customers in terms of timeliness and value for money. IP Australia will be recognised as one of the leading IP offices in the world for the quality (including accuracy and consistency) of the IP rights it grants.

Main achievements

IP Australia’s key achievements that contributed to fulfilling the purpose in 2015–16 included:

  • exceeding the quality and timeliness service commitments for all IP rights
  • extending ISO 9001 certification to cover the Business Improvement and Support Centre (ICT enabling service)
  • delivering the Rights In One (RIO) IP administration system for designs.

Performance criteria and results

Table 57: Purpose 1—results for qualitative measures
Performance criterion Result
The level of customer satisfaction with the consistency of IP Australia’s work as measured by surveys and ongoing feedback channels1

In order to provide valued, consistent services to its customers and understand their level of satisfaction with its products and services, IP Australia conducted a customer satisfaction survey in May 2016.

Results from the survey indicated high levels of satisfaction across a range of measures, including accuracy of information and satisfaction with IP Australia’s key channels and services (the website, search systems and the call centre). Our customers told us that the following aspects of our examination reports and products are the most important:

  • Searches are accurate.
  • All significant objections and deficiencies are raised at first report.
  • Correct application of law is provided in reports.

Customers’ overall satisfaction with IP Australia was 89%. This is in comparison to our previous satisfaction surveys conducted in 2014 and 2015, which showed 71% and 73% respectively. The increase in our satisfaction rate is partly due to the introduction of an improved customer research methodology. We will continue to improve our stakeholder satisfaction processes as part of our stakeholder engagement strategies.

IP Australia’s performance in benchmarking against quality standards1 In association with the IP offices of Canada and the United Kingdom, IP Australia continued its involvement with the Vancouver Group. Each office conducted audits on a number of each other’s granted/allowed patents. The aim was to develop trust and confidence in one another’s work and validate quality. This work is part of our commitment to benchmarking the quality of our services against international offices.
The level of maturity of quality assurance systems1 During 2015–16, IP Australia maintained its compliance with the ISO 9001 quality standard while expanding its scope of certification to include the Business Improvement and Support Centre. The outcomes of the quality review system continued to exceed prescribed product and service quality standards.
The level of work on hand for each IP right reduced1

In 2015–16, IP Australia reduced inventories to levels within planning tolerances.

  • Patent applications stock level reduced by 2675 applications although the stockpile is 33% above the optimal operating tolerance (i.e. steady state).
  • The plant breeder’s right stockpile was at the optimal operating tolerance (i.e. steady state).
  • Trade mark applications stock level reduced by 5508 classes and was maintained at the optimal operating tolerance (i.e. steady state).
  • Designs request for examination stock level was maintained at the optimal operating tolerance (i.e. steady state).
  1. Performance measures set out in the 2015–16 PBS.
Table 58: Purpose 1—results for quantitative measures
Performance criterion 2015–16 target 2015–16 result Criterion source
Tier 1—Correct search and research 93.5%

Patents—96.5%

Plant breeder’s rights—95.8%

Trade marks—94.9%

Designs—98.6%

2015–16 Corporate Plan
Tier 2—Reports are comprehensive and informative and free of invalid objections/considerations 90%

Patents—96%

Plant breeder’s rights—100%

Trade marks—96%

Designs—97%

2015–16 Corporate Plan
Tier 3—Written formalities are complete and correct 85%

Patents—87%

Plant breeder’s rights—96%

Trade marks—94%

Designs—96%

2015–16 Corporate Plan
Examine and issue first reports on applications for standard patents Within 12 months of receiving the request for examination Patent first reports were issued within an average of 7.6 months from examination request. 2015–16 Corporate Plan
Conduct a prima facie examination on an application for plant breeder’s rights Within 8 weeks of receiving the application Plant Breeder’s Rights examination reports were issued within an average of 3 weeks. 2015–16 Corporate Plan
Examine and issue a report on an application for a trade mark Within 13 weeks of receiving the application Trade mark applications were examined and reports were issued within an average of 10.1 weeks. 2015–16 Corporate Plan
Examine and issue a report on a registered design Within 13 weeks of receiving the request for examination Designs were examined and reports were issued within an average of 7.7 weeks. 2015–16 Corporate Plan
Respond to correspondence relating to the examination of an application Within 20 working days of receiving the correspondence

Correspondence relating to patents was responded to within an average of 12 working days.

Correspondence relating to trade marks was responded to within an average of 9.6 working days.

Correspondence relating to designs was responded to within an average of 11.6 working days.

Data was not available for plant breeder’s rights correspondence.

2015–16 Corporate Plan
Issue a hearing decision (unless further submissions or evidence is received) Within 12 weeks of holding a hearing

Decisions were issued for hearings relating to patents within an average of 9.5 weeks.

Decisions were issued for hearings relating to trade marks within an average of 10.6 weeks.

No decisions related to designs matters were issued in 2015–16.

2015–16 Corporate Plan
Period of notice given before implementing a change in fees

At least 8 weeks for fee changes

More than 8 weeks for new fees

No major fee changes occurred in 2015–16. 2015–16 Corporate Plan
Table 59: Purpose 1—results for deliverables
Deliverable1 2015–16 estimate 2015–16 actual
Receipt of patent applications 28 145 31 292
Receipt of Patent Cooperation Treaty applications 3 015 3 485
Provision of patent examination services 28 748 28 658
Receipt of trade mark applications 120 700 134 557
Provision of trade mark registration services 61 810 68 066
Receipt of design applications 6 305 7 873
Provision of design examination services 1 400 1 109
Receipt of plant breeder’s rights applications 345 336
Provision of plant breeder’s rights examination services 275 211
Receipt of Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys applications 105 95
Provision of Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys registration services 1 130 1 295
  1. Performance measures set out in the 2015–16 PBS.

Evaluation and review results

IP Australia undertook an evaluation of its fees in 2015−16 under the Australian Governments Cost Recovery Guidelines. Under these guidelines, the agency must publish a Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) providing key information on how cost recovery for a specific government activity is implemented. IP Australia undertakes regulatory activity through issuing exclusive rights and privileges to IP rights holders. Efficiency and cost effectiveness are maximised by charging discrete fees on individuals and organisations, rather than imposing broader based levies. The charging of fees is directly aligned to IP Australia’s innovation policy objectives. In order for IP Australia to change its regulated fees under legislative requirements, IP Australia must update the CRIS. In the 2015−16 Fee Review, IP Australia proposed fee changes to simplify and streamline the fee structure, minimise the touch points for customers and align IP Australia with prevailing international practice. The proposed fees will see trade marks customers pay less under the new fee structure and patent customers pay more, but only after they have held their right for 10 years. There were changes to administrative and opposition fees proposed in designs and plant breeder’s rights and no fee changes proposed under the Professional Standards Board. The CRIS was approved by the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science in May 2016 and regulation changes received the Royal Assent on 17 August 2016. The fee changes will come into effect on 10 October 2016.

Analysis of performance against Purpose 1

IP Australia continued to improve the way IP rights are administered while maintaining its ability to meet performance criteria. In 2015–16, IP Australia completed digitisation of trade marks and designs files, increased volumes of correspondence sent electronically and started including metadata, and implemented a trade marks virtual assistant on our website. These process improvements assist staff with their ongoing work by providing better access to records, more efficient correspondence delivery and fewer telephone enquiries. This work will continue to progressively deliver a more agile business environment that captures efficiencies and improves service delivery. The cost efficiencies created by these projects are passed on to customers in the context of the periodic fee review.

In 2015–16, IP Australia continued to deliver an effective framework for the protection of IP rights through competency-based training across all IP rights operations. In particular, the introduction of the IP Rights Administration Program for IP rights administrative support staff was an important initiative because the quality of our training and the way we train our staff are critical to our capability to provide world-class services in a timely manner.

Of particular note in 2015–16, IP Australia delivered the Rights In One (RIO) IP administration system for designs. The first component of a large multi-year information technology project, RIO for designs provides IP Australia staff with a streamlined case management process to ensure efficient and timely delivery of IP rights administration. When complete, this system will manage the administration workflow across all IP rights. It will allow IP Australia to streamline its ICT operations and retire a range of outdated legacy systems, thus delivering efficiencies and enhancing productivity.

Purpose 2: Professional registration

Objective

IP Australia will successfully undertake its functions associated with persons wishing to qualify for registration as Patent and/or Trade Mark Attorneys and will provide effective support to the Professional Standards Board.

Main achievements

IP Australia’s key achievements that contributed to fulfilling the purpose in 2015–16 included:

  • meeting the service commitments for all professional registration correspondence
  • maintaining customer satisfaction with secretariat services.

Performance criteria and results

Table 60: Purpose 2—results for qualitative measures
Performance criterion Result
Stakeholder satisfaction with secretariat support1 The Professional Standards Board was satisfied with the secretariat support provided during the year.
  1. Performance measures set out in the 2015–16 PBS.
Table 61: Purpose 2—results for quantitative measures
Performance criterion 2015–16 target 2015–16 result Criterion source
The Professional Standards Board will complete final registration within 15 working days of receipt of applications for either individual or incorporated attorney registration, that are compliant with legislative requirements 15 working days 100% of final registrations were completed within 15 days of receipt of applications. 2015–16
Corporate Plan
The Professional Standards Board will notify the person in writing of its decision within 42 working days of deciding whether or not it is satisfied that the person has the qualification 42 working days 100% of applicants were notified within 42 working days. 2015–16
Corporate Plan
Annual audit of compliance with Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys is undertaken based on an appropriate sample. Action is taken on non-compliance Annual audit undertaken The annual audit of compliance with CPE requirements for Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys was conducted in 2015–16 and 98% were found to be compliant. One instance of non-compliance was found and action was taken on it. 2015–16
Corporate Plan

Analysis of performance against Purpose 2

IP Australia exceeded all benchmarks by maintaining Professional Standards Board registrations and delivered on commitments in a timely manner.

Purpose 3: Access and promotion

Objective

IP Australia will facilitate access to the domestic and international intellectual property system and promote understanding of their value among its stakeholders in line with Australia’s interests.

Main achievements

IP Australia’s key achievements that contributed to fulfilling the purpose in 2015–16 included:

  • launching Source IP, an online tool that facilitates collaboration between business and researchers
  • winning a silver award and the award for innovation for the Regional Patent Examination Training programme at the annual Institute of Public Administration Australia Prime Minister’s awards for Public Sector Excellence
  • appointing an Australian IP Counsellor to China, who will provide IP expertise and support specifically targeted to assist Australian businesses in China.
Table 62: Purpose 3—results for qualitative measures
Performance criterion Result
Increased public awareness of intellectual property rights1

In 2015–16, IP Australia launched Source IP, an online tool to facilitate connections between business and public sector researchers. Source IP is aimed specifically at making it easier for Australian businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises, to access public-sector innovation and technology. It focuses on boosting collaboration between business and researchers by providing a single site to showcase the expertise of individual Australian research organisations and facilitating easy, one-click contact. In addition to promoting collaboration within Australia, Source IP aims to drive the global promotion of Australian research by providing easy access to IP data. This is done using application programming interfaces, which will allow the integration of Source IP data into global marketplaces. By highlighting Australian research on global platforms, Source IP maximises the visibility of Australian research organisations and enhances the process of knowledge transfer and the opportunity for technology commercialisation internationally.

In 2015–16, IP Australia also launched the Australian IP Toolkit for Collaboration. This joint project with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is designed to facilitate, simplify and improve collaboration between researchers and industry.

IP Australia continued to raise public awareness through the delivery of relevant and timely information to stakeholders and customers. Website content is a primary vehicle for this, alongside forums, subscription lists and social media channels. Other initiatives included Dream Shield, a suite of products for Indigenous IP owners, and IP Workshops for Start-ups, which educate small businesses and start-ups on the importance of IP. IP Australia also delivered TEDex events targeted at the university sector.

Public education and awareness programmes delivered by IP Australia included communication activities targeted to start-up businesses and entrepreneurs, accountants, engineers, exporters, Indigenous business owners, and secondary students through support to Questacon’s Smart Skills Initiative.

IP Australia continued its formal relationships with CPA Australia, Engineers Australia and the Export Council of Australia to promote IP messages to their membership bases. Under these arrangements, IP Australia works closely with these groups to provide information on the benefits of the IP rights system.

The level of satisfaction with information services1

Results from the annual customer satisfaction survey showed 87% of respondents were satisfied with the accuracy of the information provided to them, 76% were satisfied with how easy it was to find relevant information and 79% were satisfied with how easy IP Australia’s information was to understand.

In addition, 78% of respondents were satisfied with IP Australia’s website, 78% were satisfied with IP search systems and 79% were satisfied with call centre services.

Attract participation from target country IP offices and proportion of students that meet required standards2

IP Australia’s Regional Patent Examination Training programme won both the Silver Award for Excellence and the award for innovation at the annual Institute of Public Administration Australia Prime Minister’s awards for Public Sector Excellence.

To date, participants from seven countries have successfully completed the programme. These countries are Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Kenya and ARIPO (African Regional IP Office). These countries continue to take advantage of the programme’s practice of enrolling additional examiners as course participants.

Increased public awareness of intellectual property rights1

Results from the annual customer satisfaction survey showed 52% of respondents consider that they have adequate or extensive knowledge of the IP system. As expected, attorneys reported higher levels of knowledge (90% adequate or extensive) than those filing on their own behalf (41% adequate or extensive).

The communication campaigns reported a 200% increase in social media followers, compared with non-advertising campaign months.

IP Australia sends out a fortnightly ‘What’s New’ e-newsletter to 2835 contacts with an open rate and click-through of just over 30%.

Twice annual consultation with IP Stakeholder Forum2 The IP Stakeholder Forum met twice in 2015−16.
  1. Performance measures set out in the 2015–16 PBS.
  2. Performance measures set out in the 2015–16 Corporate Plan.

Performance criteria and results

Table 63: Purpose 3—results for quantitative measures
Performance criterion 2015–16 target 2015–16 result Criterion source
The number of visitors to the IP Australia website 2% increase on 2014–15 figures The number of visits to the website in 2015–16 was 2.09 million. This is an increase of more than 55 000 visits (2.75%) on 2014–15. 2015–16
Corporate Plan
Attract participation from target country IP offices and proportion of students that meet required standards Evaluation in 2015−16 The Regional Patent Examination Training programme was externally evaluated by PwC. The evaluation found that the programme is delivering on the benefits it set out to achieve and has moved from project to business as usual as intended. The programme has been identified as an example of better practice patent examination training as it focuses on building and assessing the competency of participating examiners. 2015–16
Corporate Plan

Analysis of performance against Purpose 3

IP Australia continued to seek ways to use data to the benefit of customers and other stakeholders. We expanded the range of some of our services to provide increased support, particularly for universities and publicly funded research organisations. In particular, our Patent Analytics Hub and IP Government Open Data projects seek to make our IP data accessible, promoting the creation of new and innovative products and services, and better use of publicly funded resources.

IP Australia is adding value to customer communication and building more meaningful relationships with stakeholders through its social media accounts. 2015−16 saw an increase in online engagement with more than 9500 followers across Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.

IP Australia ran a number of external communication campaigns in 2015–16 on research report releases, legislative changes, consultations, events and general IP awareness.

Feedback from events and workshops was positive. IP Australia hosted a range of these activities, targeted at business and research audiences. Events and workshops provide IP Australia with a strong platform to deliver public education and awareness messages on the IP system.

As part of IP Australia’s continued efforts to improve and increase its presence on social media, a series of advertising campaigns were undertaken to help educate the public on IP. Results from the campaigns show stronger post engagement and sharing of our online content. Each of these posts reached an average of 30 000, compared to non-advertised campaigns which have an average reach of 175.

The IP Stakeholder Forum oversees IP Australia’s regulatory performance, provides advice on regulation reform and input more generally on our priorities and performance. Measures of success were developed in consultation with the IP Stakeholder Forum in late 2015, to ensure an accurate reflection of performance. The self-assessment of IP Australia’s contribution to the deregulation agenda under the Regulatory Performance Framework was developed with the Stakeholder Forum in September 2016. This assessment includes planned efforts to build on stakeholder feedback and improve the way IP Australia works in 2016–17. IP Australia will continue to review measures in 2016–17 to ensure that performance criteria remain relevant and provide timely insight into how we can drive reform and improvements in our business. Areas identified for specific improvement in 2016–17 include investigation into the availability of timeliness data for plant breeder’s rights, benchmarking trade mark demand forecasting against other IP offices, and delivering improved trade mark and designs search capability to ensure a full suite of measures.

The creation of the role of Australian IP Counsellor to China was a new venture for IP Australia in 2015–16, and was the first time a staff member was posted overseas as part of a diplomatic mission. The posting to the Australian Embassy in Beijing is intended to provide IP expertise and support specifically targeted to assist Australian businesses in China. The IP Counsellor will work with Austrade and the Australian Business Chamber in China and will liaise with Chinese IP agencies including the Chinese Trade Mark Office (SIPO).

Purpose 4: International engagement

Objective

Influence the development of effective IP systems in line with Australia’s interests.

Main achievements

IP Australia’s key achievements that contributed to fulfilling the purpose in 2015–16 included:

  • establishing a memorandum of understanding with the Japanese Patent Office to facilitate bilateral sharing of IP Australia’s plant breeder’s rights examination results
  • continuing participation in and awareness-raising for World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Centralized Access to Search and Examination (CASE).

Performance criteria and results

Table 64: Purpose 4—results for qualitative measures
Performance criterion Result
The amount and quality of international work sharing1

IP Australia conducted a number of international work sharing activities in 2015–16 including:

  • Contributed to the development of a single application and examination process for patents in both Australia and New Zealand. Australian legislation supporting the single application and examination process received royal assent in February 2015.
  • Established a memorandum of understanding with the Japanese Patent Office to facilitate bilateral sharing of IP Australia’s plant breeder’s rights examination results in the future.
  • Promoted the expansion of WIPO CASE, an IT platform that enables IP offices to share their search and examination results. The membership of WIPO CASE has now increased to 23 international IP offices.
  1. Performance measures set out in the 2015–16 PBS.

Analysis of performance against Purpose 4

IP Australia met all performance targets in 2015–16.

IP Australia conducted extensive international engagement initiatives in 2015−16. Initiatives that allow IP offices to share examination work aim to increase the efficiency and quality of patent examinations and reduce time and costs for applicants. Additional work-sharing opportunities will be realised in 2016–17 with the European Patent Office through the signing of a memorandum of understanding, which includes a Patent Prosecution Highway initiative commencing 1 July 2016.

Purpose 5: Development of the IP system

Objective

Foster Australian innovation by shaping the development of the IP system both domestically and abroad.

Main achievements

IP Australia’s key achievements that contributed to fulfilling the purpose in 2015–16 included:

  • finalising the legislative proposals and producing drafts of the Rights In One (RIO) Bill and supporting regulations
  • releasing expanded versions of IP Government Open Data and the weekly-updated IP Government Open Live Data
  • contributing to the Productivity Commission inquiry into Australia’s IP arrangements, including making two public submissions and providing substantial input to the inquiry in response to requests for information, data and analysis
  • beginning cooperation on a new Australian Research Council research project that will examine the role of brands and trade marks in a global marketplace and help Australian businesses extend their international reach.

Performance criteria and results

Table 65: Purpose 5—results for qualitative measures
Performance criteria Results
Provision of policy advice across government and internationally1

IP Australia provided a range of policy advice on IP issues across government, including in relation to the government’s regulatory reform agenda, the National Innovation and Science Agenda, and the High Court decision in D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc. (October 2015), relating to patentability of isolated gene sequences.

IP Australia consulted stakeholders on a range of matters, including ideas for regulatory reform, proposed changes to IP Australia’s fees, the innovation patent system and proposed regulations to implement a trans-Tasman patent attorney regime. IP Australia continued to work with stakeholders on drafting a significant package of legislative proposals to further streamline IP processes and support small business.

In August 2015, the jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court was expanded to include plant breeder’s rights matters, and a scheme was introduced to enable the granting of compulsory licences to allow Australian medicine producers to manufacture and export patented pharmaceuticals to countries experiencing health crises.

As a joint project with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, IP Australia commissioned research on IP financing. The initiative is intended to help businesses, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, to use their IP to secure finance and grow their businesses. IP Australia also investigated innovative insurance methods that may assist Australian small and medium-sized enterprises through the IP lifecycle. The outcome of this work will be considered in light of the recommendations in the Productivity Commission’s IP inquiry final report.

IP Australia continued to represent Australia’s interests in the World Intellectual Property Organization and assisted the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in negotiating IP chapters in free trade agreements, including negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which concluded in October 2015, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Satisfaction of stakeholders with quality and timeliness of advice on policy and legislation, and ministerial correspondence, speeches and briefings, submissions to reviews and Government responses2

IP Australia consistently delivered advice on time, including briefings to the Minister and Assistant Minister on policy and legislation issues.

IP Australia provided data and submissions to the Productivity Commission inquiry into Australia’s IP arrangements and coordinated the government responses to the Advisory Council on Intellectual Property’s review of the designs system and review of the role of intellectual property in collaborations between the public and private sectors.

The number of ministerial briefs and responses1 142 ministerial briefs and responses were prepared.
The number of IP research initiatives1

Following the research programme published in the 2015 IP Report, IP Australia released a significant number of outputs in 2015–16, the most important of which were the releases of the expanded IP Government Open Data (IPGOD), the weekly-updated IP Government Open Live Data (IPGOLD) and beta versions of the IP Neural Open-data Visualisation and Analysis tool (IPNOVA). The Patent Analytics Hub delivered six targeted technology reports for universities and three broad technology landscape reports for government, while also delivering online interactive reports.

IP Australia contributed substantial economic analysis to the Productivity Commission inquiry into Australia’s IP arrangements in 2015–16. In addition, IP Australia began cooperation on a new Australian Research Council co-funded linkage grant project that will examine the role of brands and trade marks in global value chains, develop a machine learning algorithm to identify international trade mark families and extend a novel global trade mark family dataset. This research should help Australian businesses extend their international reach and policy-makers increase domestic gains from global value chains.

Working papers on geographical indications, pharmaceutical evergreening, university–industry collaboration, pharmaceutical technology diffusion and grace periods, and papers to inform operational improvements, were delivered.

IP Australia undertook market research to inform the redevelopment of its corporate website and to better understand the needs of its customers. This research will inform new products and services that will help increase the understanding of the importance of IP rights to Australian businesses. The refreshed IP Australia website was launched in April 2016 following extensive consultation.

  1. Performance measures set out in the 2015–16 PBS.
  2. Performance measures set out in the 2015–16 Corporate Plan.
Table 66: Purpose 5—results for quantitative measures
Performance criterion 2015–16 target 2015–16 result Criterion source
Ministerial briefing
Ministerial briefs delivered on time Within 5 working days 97% of briefings were provided within the initial timeframes stipulated by the respective requesters. The remaining briefs were delayed due to factors beyond IP Australia’s control and were provided to the relevant ministerial office within agreed timeframes. 2015–16
Corporate Plan
Ministerial briefs delivered with high quality 95% of briefings accepted without requests for revision Of the 71 ministerial briefs delivered in 2015–16, 97% were accepted without requests for revision. This is 2% above the target. 2015–16
Corporate Plan
IP research
Evidence and data to inform debate and policy formulation through the release of the annual Australian IP Report and dissemination of IP Australia open data (all IP Australia public data updated annually) Annual production and release of open data IP Australia updated all public data on 1 February 2016. The annual Australian IP Report was released on 14 April 2016. 2015–16
Corporate Plan
Legislative change
Rights In One (RIO) Bill achieves stated goals to improve IP system Evaluation of efforts IP Australia worked with key stakeholders and the Office of Parliamentary Counsel to finalise the legislative proposals and produce drafts of the Bill and supporting regulations. The impact of the Bill will not be known until after it has been passed by parliament and implemented (expected to be 2018 onwards). IP Australia has committed to conducting a full evaluation of its RIO Program five years after commencement. 2015–16
Corporate Plan

Analysis of performance against Purpose 5

Overall performance against the purpose was positive. The details of supporting policy proposals were determined and drafts of the RIO Bill and regulations were produced. The majority of key stakeholders supported the revised proposals.

In 2016–17, the development of the RIO Bill will enter its next stage. The legislative amendments will be finalised and exposure drafts of the Bill and regulations are proposed to be released for public comment. Subject to government priorities, a Bill implementing the majority of the proposals will be introduced into parliament. IP Australia will commence work on implementing the changes in its systems.

IP Australia’s research activities sought to better understand the tasks and information searches that customers were undertaking via the IP Australia website and identify barriers or improvement opportunities. To inform the development of the annual customer satisfaction survey, IP Australia conducted qualitative research to better understand the drivers of satisfaction of our customers. Learnings from these initiatives have informed ongoing enhancements to customer information and services.

Financial performance

IP Australia recorded an operating surplus of $4.4 million for 2015−16 against an initial planned surplus of $0.1 million, as published in the 2015−16 PBS. Revenue was $9.9million (5.2%) above plan due to higher than anticipated IP rights filings and renewals. Expenses were $5.6 million (3.0%) above budget predominantly due to increased supplier costs which reflect activity in the second half of the financial year in support of Government’s innovation agenda.

IP Australia will monitor revenue trends carefully and will control costs to ensure continued sustainable operations. The organisation has sufficient financial assets to pay its suppliers and other payables as and when they fall due. IP Australia will continue to invest in productive assets to ensure continuing efficiency in its operations, improved functionality and user experience for customers, and to maintain a prominent position in the global market for the registration of IP rights.