Processing Proposals for Changes to the Manual

Date Published

All changes to the Manual, their communication and review (evaluation) are to be made in accordance with the principles and guidance laid out in the IP Australia Change Management Framework.

Changes to the Manual may arise as a result of Improvement Log issues, court cases, amendments to the Patents Act and Regulations or recommendations by an authoritative source, e.g. PMC or STT.  

Straightforward changes will generally be drafted by the relevant Sub-Editor (or the Manual Editor).  Where the change is major, appropriate resources will be allocated to assist with the drafting of Manual amendments if required.  The P&PBR Technical Working Group (PTWG) under its terms of reference is able to form small working parties to draft changes where appropriate.

When the Manual Editor becomes aware of the need for a change, the matter will be referred to either the relevant Sub-Editor or an authoritative source to draft the amendment.

The Manual Editor will discuss complex or contentious changes firstly with the PTWG and then consult the PMC if a change in practice is required. Consultation with the identifier of the issue (especially in relation to the reporter of items raised through the Improvement Log) will be carried out as deemed necessary by the Manual Editor and the PTWG as appropriate, consistent with the consult and inform elements of the Managing Change Cycle (see IP Australia Change Management Framework).  All papers relating to the committee considerations and its decisions are recorded on a general file (BRIK).

OEP will prepare any required amendments for Volume 3 and the Assistant General Manager OEP, or Supervising Examiner OEP, has overall responsibility for approving amendments to this volume.

Publication Process

The Manual Editor (or other authorised person) will email the approved changes to the Technical Communications team in Strategic Communication (email address MDB-Technical-Communicators) who will incorporate the changes into the Manual.

The Technical Communicators will provide the Manual Editor with a draft version of the Manual for checking, which is undertaken by the relevant Sub-Editor or the person responsible for drafting the changes.  Once any corrections or further changes have been made, the Manual Editor (or other authorised person) emails the Technical Communicators advising that the Manual is approved for publication.  The Technical Communicators will then update the Manual on the intranet and arrange for Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4.1 Searching to be updated on the internet.

On the day of the release of each update to the Manual, the Manual Editor will circulate an email to all examination staff, detailing the major changes implemented through the publication of the update and highlighting relevant practice changes (see also Communication of Changes).

For further information see Process for Actioning Changes.

Update of PERP Code Database

Where changes are made to a PERP code in Volume 6, the Manual Editor or Volume 6 Sub-Editor will email a copy of the changes to the PERP code database administrator and request that the database be updated.  The administrator will make the necessary changes and ensure that the PERP code functions in DocGen.