All patents in Australia are registered with IP Australia and usually completed through IP Australia’s online e-services platform. To help you plan out your patent application, IP Australia has created a nifty application guide that will help prepare your patent application for a seamless registration process.
If you’ve applied for a provisional application, then you must apply for a standard patent within 12 months to keep the provisional application’s priority date.
If you have a patent in an overseas jurisdiction, you must file a patent in Australia within 12 months of the first filing of an overseas jurisdiction. This means that if you register a patent in the United States in January, then a patent in China in March, you have until January the following year to register the patent in Australia.
Once an application has been lodged (and before it is examined and granted by IP Australia), the details of your invention is published in the Australian Official Journal of Patents within 18 months from the priority date (the date the application was first filed).
Patent applications must be accompanied by a patent specification, which encompasses a few details about your patent such as:
- a detailed description of the invention
- claims (optional for provisional applications)
- an abstract about your invention
- drawings of your invention (if applicable), and
- a gene sequence listing (if applicable).
It is common for people to have a crack at the patent application themselves. However, those who don’t engage patent attorneys may incorrectly describe their invention. These invention may be deemed as ‘not new’ because the applicant disclosed it to the public after filing a provisional application that did not adequately describe the invention. So, it’s important to consider engaging professional help when it comes to patent work.
Let’s explore the patent application requirements a little further.
Description of the Patent
The description of the patent must describe the patent in detail. All patents (standard, innovation, provisional or international) must include a description which:
- fully describes the invention so that others could reproduce the invention with the information provided,
- does not include photographs,
- has at least 2.5cm from the left-most margin,
- gives the best method of performing the invention,
- is in English, and
- is on A4 single-sided pages.
The claim defines your invention. Standard and certified patents must include a claim (claims are optional in provisional applications). A claim should:
- clearly define what you are seeking patent protection from (must differentiate the invention from what is already patented),
- set out essential technical features,
- be concise,
- be clear, and
- be written as a single sentence.
A standard patent can have any number of claims, whereas a certified innovation patent can have at most five claims.
An independent claim does not refer to another claim and must define features that are essential to the invention. A dependant claim references one or more previous claims.
Claims must be reasonable and only define one invention. If you try to claim too much, it may be difficult to obtain or defend those rights. If you claim too little you may miss out on valuable opportunities.
The abstract is a summary of your invention which identifies its key features.
Drawings should be used to help describe your invention. A drawing must be in black ink drawn using drafting instruments or computer software. Any significant features should be labelled by numbers and further described in the specification.
Patent Application Fees
Application fees must be paid within two months or else the application will lapse.
Below is a table of application fees patent fees:
|Patent Type||Fee (online services)||Fee (post)|
|Provisional patent application||$110||$210|
|Standard patent application||$370||$470|
|Innovation patent application||$180||$280|