Innovation patent application
Innovation patents are the second type of patent available in Australia. They are generally suitable for inventions that are new but may not satisfy the threshold for inventiveness required for the award of a standard patent. Some of the features of innovation patents are:
- Innovation patents have a maximum term of 8 years. Standard patents have a maximum term of 20 years.
- Innovation patents can have no more than 5 claims. Standard patents may have 20 claims, or more than 20 claims with the payment of additional fees.
- An innovation patent application will be granted without substantive examination, provided that the application meets formalities.
- An innovation patent may not be enforced, or threatened to be enforced, before the patent has been examined and a certificate of examination issued.
- Examination will generally only commence if requested.
- The patentee or a third party may request examination at any time.
Annual renewal fees must be paid to the patent office. These fees are payable at the 2nd to 7th filing anniversaries.
If the invention claimed by the innovation patent is sufficiently inventive, foreign protection may be perused by the filing of at least one further application by the 1st filing anniversary of the innovation patent. For example, an International Patent Application (“ PCT application”) may be filed.
Filing the International Patent Application is recommended as it allows you to defer filing of national applications by 18 months, deferring the national filing costs. During the life of the International patent application an optional preliminary international examination of the application may be requested. This optional step is recommended because it tests the application before a patent examiner before committing to filing relatively expensive national applications. The cost for the national phase filings varies from country to country.