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External scrutiny

IP Australia is subject to external scrutiny in the form of appeals or applications for judicial reviews of our decisions, made by the Commissioner of Patents, the Registrar of Trade Marks, the Registrar of Designs, the Registrar of Plant Breeder’s Rights and their delegates. The Federal Court of Australia generally has jurisdiction over appeals; however, in some cases, an application for review may be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Decisions of the Registrar of Trade Marks and the Registrar of Designs are also appealable in the Federal Circuit Court. Appendix C1 lists the appeals and applications for judicial review that IP Australia received in 2020–21.

Table 7: 2020–21 – Appearances before parliamentary committees




16 September 2020

Senate Select Committee on the Aboriginal Flag

Inquiry into the copyright and licensing arrangements for the Aboriginal Flag design

3 June 2021

Senate Economics

Legislation Committee

Budget Estimates

The Australian Information Commissioner has not made any decisions relating to IP Australia in 2020–21. The Commissioner may review freedom of information (FOI) decisions on application. At the time of compiling this report, 6 FOI matters were under consideration.

IP Australia was included in the Auditor-General’s cross-entity performance audit of the cyber security strategies of non-corporate Commonwealth entities. The report was tabled in March 2021 and assessed 7 entities. IP Australia was ranked in the middle of the 7 entities for its cyber security maturity, with no recommendations identified.