How Long Does a Patent Last in Australia?
The processing time for a patent application depends on a few important factors. There are three different categories of patents: innovation, utility, and design. In addition, innovation patents are more valuable to Australian businesses since they give the patentee an earlier entry in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).
Innovation patents last in Australia for up to 8 years, and have different requirements than standard patents. Innovators seeking a patent need only provide an “innovative step” in their invention. The requirement for an inventive step is lower than that for a standard patent. Inventions that meet this standard are more likely to be incremental improvements rather than disruptive innovations. In this article we’ll explore the differences between standard and innovation patents.
In Australia, innovation patents are the second tier of patents and were originally designed to cover lower level inventions. While innovation patents are considered a lower-level invention, they still provide the same scope of rights as a standard patent. Since the threshold for patentability is lower, innovation patents are more likely to be issued. For innovation patents to be valid, applicants must have a filing date prior to 25 August 2021. Existing Australian applications and PCT applications may still be eligible.
While an innovation patent in Australia is enforceable, the benefits of obtaining one are limited. They cannot be opposed until after the post-grant examination. However, the process is fast, allowing innovators to get enforceable rights quickly. Until examination, an innovation patent cannot be challenged unless there is an infringing party. Opposition must end if court proceedings are initiated. A divisional application, however, can be filed before the 31-month deadline.
The last day to file an innovation patent in Australia was 25 August 2021. Existing innovation patents, filed before the cut-off date, will remain valid until their expiration date. Australian government remains committed to providing dedicated support for Australian SMEs, ensuring innovation patents last in Australia. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but the overall effect is positive. While there will be more challenges ahead, innovation patents are still a valuable asset to have.
Ultimately, the goal of the Australian government is to provide a more equitable IP system for SMEs. They are committed to helping SMEs and SME’s thrive, but the innovation patent has failed to achieve its intended purpose. It costs all Australian business $11 million every year. By failing to protect SMEs’ innovative ideas, innovation patents have effectively benefited large businesses while hindering SMEs. The Australian Government has taken the first step toward helping small businesses.
Associated costs of applying for a patent
The associated costs of applying for a patent in Australia include the standard patent application fee, examination fees, renewal fees, and postage. These fees are different for innovation patent applications and provisional patent applications. To file a patent application, you will need to visit IP Australia. You can submit an application online or by mail. Either way, you will need to pay the appropriate fee. If you file a patent application through mail, the fee for the first year will be less than that of a standard patent application.
The PCT application fee is approximately $3,000 to $4,500. There is also a search fee of approximately $1,100. It is important to note that the European Patent Office does not serve as an International Search Authority for business methods or specific technology inventions. Associated costs of applying for a patent in Australia are therefore higher than for international applications. Depending on your needs, you should budget around $15,000 to $25,000 for the entire process.
Associated costs of applying for a patent vary depending on your invention, its complexity, the level of detail required, and the timeframe. The cost of a patent application drafted by a patent attorney typically ranges between $3,300 and $5,500. Filing a provisional patent application in Australia typically costs between $110 and $330 and the cost of a complete patent application in Australia or New Zealand can cost upwards of $1,200.
Associated costs of applying for a patent are often overlooked. The process of applying for a patent in Australia consists of several milestones. A qualified patent attorney will implement systems to ensure that these milestones are met. While the fees may seem high, they are only a small portion of the overall costs of patenting in Australia. The costs are well worth the investment. You should ensure that you fully understand these milestones before proceeding.
While the patent application process takes three to four years, you may be able to achieve grant in six months or less if you choose the accelerated procedure. In general, the patent specification will cost you about AU$6,000. The patent application filing fee is around AU$1,200. Patent prosecution costs can run up to AU$5,000. It is important to understand the associated costs of patent applications before deciding which method is best for you.
Maximum term of an innovation patent
Patents are typically granted for a period of eight years. This term includes all stages of the patent process, including the filing of the application, examination and a review of the formalities. Patents issued under the innovation patent system are subject to a two-step examination process. The first step involves an examination of the innovation patent application, determining whether it meets the eligibility criteria. The second step is to file an application for a divisional innovation patent.
The second step in the patent application process is to determine whether the invention is patentable. In this process, the applicant must show that the product meets certain requirements and has a sufficient description of the invention. The inventor must also provide evidence of the invention’s novelty. An invention is patentable if it takes an original and creative step to solve a problem, improve existing technology, or create a better way to do something. The invention can be a device, machine, process, computer program, or technique. Golja Haines & Friend can assist you with the patenting process. In Australia, innovation patent applications are 25 times more common than standard patent applications.
The innovation patent system in Australia is currently under review. In a recent issues paper published by IP Australia, the council recommended a change in the innovation patent system. Innovation patents will expire on 25 August 2029. They are equivalent to utility models in other countries. The Australian government introduced the innovation patent system to promote innovation among SMEs, by providing low-cost, short-term exclusive rights to low-level inventions.
As a result, the maximum term for innovation patents in Australia is eight years. This means that the invention must be patented before this date or it will become outdated. After the commencement date of 26 August 2021, no new innovation patents can be granted. By the end of 2029, the system will be completely phased out. If you think that your innovation patent is worth the money, consider requesting certification of your invention.
Earlier inclusion on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) of the patentee’s goods
Regulatory approval of pharmaceutical products can extend the term of a patent. However, to extend the term, the pharmaceutical product must have been first listed on the ARTG. In recent years, the Australian Patent Office has been under fire for refusing to grant term extensions to drug products. However, the Federal Court has ruled that the patent term extension decision should stand.
ARTG is a national government database of products and contains 90,988 registered goods. The earliest date that a product is listed on the ARTG is when the product first becomes available in Australia. This date must be before the patentee’s goods are introduced into Australia. In some cases, a patentee may have received the first approval for a product prior to its inclusion on the ARTG.
The Federal Court has ruled that a patent can extend its term if it was first included on the ARTG. While the patentee is not required to search ARTG for all goods that may contain the product, failure to inform the Commissioner of earlier regulatory approval can be considered an infringing act. In some cases, a patentee must amend the patent application if it fails to do so.
A PTE regime has several objectives. The first is to balance competing public interests. Merck argued that its monopoly protection would extend to earlier inclusion of its goods. However, Merck’s arguments were not persuasive. This case is a great example of why patent protection must be flexible. While patentees may be tempted to pursue broad biologic claims, their competition may use structurally different products to gain a competitive advantage.
The PTE regime was first introduced in 2003. It allows patentees to file PTE applications in six months of the first inclusion of the product on the ARTG. This is an effective remedy for patentees who have failed to obtain ARTG registration. As such, it is a better option than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive searches.