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Financial performance

Report on financial performance

IP Australia has reported a $9 million operating loss for the 2019-20 financial year. Revenues fell by almost $7 million from budget estimates due to the relatively flat growth in IP applications and the impact of COVID-19 later in the financial year. IP Australia has responded by reducing operating expenditures from what was budgeted to minimise the impact of the revenue fall on the agency’s financial position.

While cash reserves have fallen, reflecting the lower revenue position, IP Australia has now completed work in addressing a back-log of capital investments:

  • Successfully migrating trade marks administration off of a mainframe service to a modern software solution
  • Consolidating our electronic application and renewals process with the ongoing roll-out of improved API services
  • De-risking operations with the closure of our on-site data centre and move of services to robust and secure off-site managed data centres
  • Modernisation of our leased headquarters site in Woden ACT for a flexible fit-for purpose accommodation solution out to 2032.

This work not only reduces risk in our operations moving forward, its completion has enabled the reduction in capital expenditure budgets to help stabilise and then re-grow to reasonable levels our cash reserves. This will ensure a sustainable financial buffer suitable for the current uncertain operating environment.

IP Australia has completed a review of its fees during the financial year and fee changes will be introduced in October 2020.

Demand forecast and actual performance

Each year, we forecast the expected demand for IP Australia’s services based on historical application trends. We use this information to determine the workforce profile and capacity we will need to meet our Customer Service Charter requirements, in line with our cost-recovery framework. Table 10 reports our actual performance against the estimated demand for examination and registration services for the year.

Table 10 - Program 1 results

Deliverables1

Estimated

Actual

Receipt of applications

Patents

32 216

32 034

Plant breeder’s rights

350

274

Patent Cooperation Treaty

3075

2792

Trade marks

79 952

76 150

Designs

7897

7351

Registration service

Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board

1640

1571

1. Source: IP Australia Corporate Plan 2019-20