Australian Innovation Patents

IMPORTANT – Innovation patents are being phased out and can be filed only until 25th August 2021. This does not affect the validity of existing Innovation 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 (5); the assignee may be one or more individuals or a company. Two or more parties may apply jointly.
ClaimsA maximum of 5 claims, including only 1 independent claim.
ExaminationOptional, at any time before or after grant. Innovation Patents must be examined and certified before any enforcement action can be taken.
Term8 years from the date of filing the 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 second 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.
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  • Publication of the invention in a paper written by the inventor, read before a learned society, unpublished by or on behalf of the society with the consent of the inventor; providing an application is filed within six months of the first such reading all publication.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.
Innovative StepApplications are examined for innovative step, based on the prior art base and the common general knowledge of a person skilled in the art. The threshold is lower than "inventive step".
PCTAn innovation patent application cannot be filed directly as the national phase of a PCT application.
If an innovation patent based on a PCT application is wanted, the procedure is to file a standard patent application as the national phase application, and then convert the standard patent application to an innovation patent application.
Alternatively, the innovation patent application may be filed as a divisional.

Filing Requirements

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).
A maximum of 5 claims, only one independent claim.
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 priority is claimedConvention priority country, date and application number. A certified copy of the Convention priority document and/or a verified translation are 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.
If the transmission was by virtue of a contract of employment, this should be stated; if the transmission was by virtue of assignment, the date of the assignment must be given, but it is not necessary to file a copy of the assignment deed.
If Convention priority is claimed, and the applicant in the Convention country was different to the Australian applicant, then details of the transfer of rights (e.g. date of assignment) must be given.
7. Request for ExaminationIs optional and may be requested before or after grant. (See "Examination" in the previous section)
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