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IP Australia focused on improving the quality of our services in 2020–21, as we continued to employ our principles-based and customer-centric approach to quality management. Customers are satisfied with the detail in our examination reports and our professional approach, and they are confident in our decisions. Satisfaction results for our Quality Objectives were 88% or greater.

In 2020–21, we implemented a new Customer Service Charter following consultation with our customers. It focuses on aspects of our services that our customers told us mattered to them most. One message we heard was that our customers valued a 13-week timeframe for examination of a standard trade mark application. We were quite a long way off meeting this timeframe in previous years due to past workforce limitations. However, with a focused effort on continued recruitment and training, we achieved the 13-week timeframe as at the end of the 2020–21 financial year. Although we did not achieve the commitment for the full year, we anticipate that we will now sustain and meet this benchmark for 2021–22.

We did not meet our 2020–21 Customer Service Charter commitments for designs in relation to formalities or examinations. This was primarily due to the unexpected absence of examination staff members and an increased demand for design rights. In 2021–22, we will remediate this with new training initiatives to increase the number of qualified design examiners.

We exceeded all charter commitments for patents. The charter reflects that timeliness for international and international-type search requests is a priority for customers. We have actively managed these requests – and continue to do so – through appropriate planning, resource management and continual process improvements to ensure timely completion of these products.

Throughout 2020–21, we consistently completed IP attorney registrations within the timeframe specified.