December 7, 2022
IP Australia has embarked on a $20 million multi-year project to replace its legacy patents processing system and progress its cloud strategy. According to the organisation’s annual report tabled in parliament last week, the new system supports “high-quality, customer-centric administration of the patents system, strengthens our cyber security position, and can adapt to our evolving…

IP Australia has embarked on a $20 million multi-year project to replace its legacy patents processing system and progress its cloud strategy.

According to the organisation’s annual report tabled in parliament last week, the new system supports “high-quality, customer-centric administration of the patents system, strengthens our cyber security position, and can adapt to our evolving requirements.”

An IP Australia spokesperson told iTnews the project was launched in response to IP Australia’s most recent corporate plan, published in July 2022 [pdf].

The spokesperson said it will use a “blended resourcing approach” to roll out the project.

“This includes leveraging new and existing APS staff, sourcing specialist contractors nationally, and working with technology partners Deloitte, Ionize, and PCG Cyber for further specialist skills.”

With the current system, IP Australia explained in its annual report, “changes required to implement legislative amendments or adjustments to examination practice have been complex and resource-intensive.”

As well as integrating new features more easily and improving the service for patent applicants, “improvements in emerging searching technologies will be able to be rolled out more readily to examiners.

“Patent examiners are now using the platform to process standard applications and will start using it for Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications in early 2022–23”, the annual report stated.

The IP Australia spokesperson explained to iTnews the new patent platform is based on “the successful architecture built and used by the business lines of Trade Marks and Designs a few years ago. 

“The platform uses Pega for its business process management, common JavaScript frameworks for user experiences, and a microservices-driven architecture powered by MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform to integrate the capabilities required for patents processing,” the spokesperson said.

“The system also implements Dynatrace’s advanced application performance management technology, improving our telemetry and observability of core business systems.”

The spokesperson said the modernised system will also strengthen IP Australia’s cyber security posture, and simplify its technical environment.

“It delivers a contemporary system for staff, using cloud-native natural language processing for validation and machine learning for work distribution; an augmentation of work by automating preliminary checks; and the just-in-time retrieval of relevant documents from digitally integrated patent offices from around the globe,” the spokesperson added.

“The new cloud hosted backend provides automatic scaling of infrastructure based on user demand, and automatic failover to redundant systems, increasing performance and availability of examination processing services.”

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