Australian Standard Patents

General Information

DeadlineWhen a deadline falls due on a weekday or holiday, you may file by the next working day after the deadline without any loss of rights.
ApplicantInventor (s) or the assignee of the inventor (s); the assignee may be one or more individuals or a company. Two or more parties may apply jointly.
PublicationPatent specifications and any documents filed in support of the application which are not subject to legal privilege, are open to public inspection 18 months after the earliest priority date.
Third-party ObservationsAssertions by third parties as to the lack of novelty and/or inventive step of the invention may be filed at the Patent Office at any time between publication and acceptance of the application.
ExaminationMay be requested at any time, but must be requested either within five years from the date of filing of the complete specification in Australia (or International Filing Date for a PCT application), or within two months of the Patent Office issuing a direction for examination, whichever date is the earlier.
Re-examinationThe application/patent can be re-examined on the request of any party, or on the initiative of the Patent Office, at any time after the acceptance of the application.
AcceptanceThe application must be in order for acceptance within 12 months of the date of issue of the first examination report; this period can be extended under specified circumstances.
OppositionMust be filed within three months of the publication of acceptance of the application.
Term20 years from the date of filing the complete specification (or the International Filing Date in the case of PCT Applications).
Maintenance/renewal FeesTo maintain either a pending application or a granted patent, annual maintenance fees must be paid from the fourth anniversary of the filing of the complete specification (or from the International Filing Date in the case of PCT applications). The grace period is six months, subject to payment of an additional monthly fee.
Not Patentable
  • Human beings and biological processes for their generation.
  • Inventions the use of which would be contrary to law.
  • Schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, or playing games.
  • Substances capable of being used as foods or medicines which are simply mixtures of known ingredients.
NoveltyAbsolute novelty i.e. novel with respect to anything made available to the public in any form, anywhere in the world, before the priority date, subject of the following exceptions:
  • There is a 12 months grace period for filing a complete specification, if the information relating to the invention has been made publicly available by or with the consent of the patentee or the patentee's predecessor in title.
  • Public working within one year of the filing date by the patentee or a person authorised by the patentee, providing the working was for the purpose of reasonable trial and the nature of the invention was such that it was reasonably necessary for the working to be in public.
  • Information given by the patentee or patentee's predecessor in title to the Commonwealth of Australia or a State or Territory or to a person authorised by the Commonwealth, State or Territory to investigate the invention.
  • Publication within 12 months before the priority date without the consent of the patentee, as a result of publication or use of the invention by a person deriving knowledge of the invention from the patentee or patentee's predecessor in title.
  • Publication of the invention in a paper written by the inventor, read before a learned society, and published by or on behalf of the society with the consent of the inventor; providing an application is filed within six months of the first such reading or publication.
  • Display/use with the consent of the inventor at an exhibition recognised by the Commissioner, and any subsequent publication of the invention, providing the application is filed within six months of the date of the exhibition.
Inventive StepApplications are examined for inventive step/obviousness, based on the prior art base and the common general knowledge of a person skilled in the art.
Deposit of Micro-organismsA sample of the microorganism must be deposited with an authorised depository institution before or on the filing date of the specification, in accordance with the provisions of the Budapest Treaty. The name of the institution at which the deposit was made, and the registration details of the deposit, must be incorporated into the specification before the application becomes open to public inspection. Further, before the application is accepted, the applicant must file copy of the receipt for the deposit together with a verified English translation if applicable.
MarkingNot compulsory, but failure to do so is likely to affect the ability to claim damages or an account of profits for any infringement. The recommended marking is: "Aus. Pat. No. + Patent number".
Supplementary Protection CertificatesAvailable for pharmaceuticals, with a maximum possible extension of five years.

Filing Requirements — Non-PCT

Minimum Requirements for Filing Date

1. ApplicantFull legal name, nationality, and address.
2. InventorsFull legal name, nationality and address of the or each inventor.
3. SpecificationEnglish language only: description, claims and abstract, together with sequence listings if appropriate, preferably in editable format (Microsoft Word 2010 compatible,.doc/.docx/.txt).
There is no limit to the number of claims, but extra claim fees apply for every claim over 20 at acceptance.
The abstract preferably should be no longer than 150 words. The abstract forms part of the specification, in relation to determining the extent of the disclosure.
4. DrawingsThe drawings must be line drawings in black-and-white and the drawing sheets must be numbered "sheet number/total number of sheets".
5. If Convention prioirty is claimedConvention priority country, date and application number. A certified copy of the Convention priority document is not required unless specifically requested by the examiner.

Additional Formal Requirements

6. Notice of Entitlement
(may be signed by Agent)
If the application is filed in the name of a person or legal entity other than the inventor (s), then a notice of entitlement must be filed setting out the manner in which the right to apply for the patent was transmitted from the inventor (s) to the applicant.
7. Request for ExaminationExamination may be requested at the time of filing the application (this is recommended and is lower in cost) or at any time up to the 5th anniversary of the Australian filing date. Examination must be requested within two months of an official Direction to request examination.
8. TranslationA verified translation of the Convention priority specification must be filed only if requested by the examiner.

Filing Requirements — PCT AU National Phase

Minimum Requirements for Filing Date

1. PCT Application Number
2. Applicant (if different)Full legal name, nationality and address.
3. TranslationInto English (if applicable)

Additional Formal Requirements

4. Entitlement
(may be signed by Agent)
Details of the manner in which rights to the invention were transferred from the or each inventor to the applicant in the priority country.
If the transfer was by virtue of a contract of employment, this may simply be stated. If the transfer was by virtue of assignment, the date of the assignment is required.
If the applicant in the priority country is not the same as the Australian applicant, details of the manner in which rights to the invention were transferred from the priority country applicant to the Australian applicant.
5. Request for ExaminationExamination may be requested at the time of filing the application (this is recommended and is lower in cost) or at any time up to the 5th anniversary of the International filing date. Examination must be requested within two months of an official Direction to request examination.
6. Verified TranslationIf PCT specification is not in English.
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