Changes in Australian patent fees – 2 September 2016
IP Australia (Australia’s Patent Office) has recently confirmed that new patent fees will be applicable as of 10 October 2016 (see here). The changes include:
- slashing the fee for an international-type search (ITS) from A$2,200 to A$950;
- increasing the renewal fees payable on the 10th to 24th anniversaries of filing a standard patent application (whilst the renewal fees due on the 4th to 9th anniversaries remain unchanged at A$300);
- eliminating various A$600 fees connected to patent oppositions; and
- simplifying the fee structure applicable to the sale of documents.
Item 1 is significant and will benefit Australian innovators. An international-type search is a search conducted by the Patent Office in relation to a provisional patent application. The rigour of the searching and presentation of the search results is similar to that associated with an International Search Report (ISR) that would issue later on in the patent application process if an international patent application is filed.
An international-type search has always been advisable for those interested in an international patent application, or other multi-national patent strategy. Such a search provides an indication of patentability before committing to investing in non-provisional patent applications. In extreme cases, when the search reveals that the invention is not patentable because it is not new, it can save you from investing in patent applications that are doomed to fail.
Even when the search results do not rule out patentability, they can be of great value. They give the patent applicant the opportunity to adjust the wording of the patent application more cost-efficiently and without the limitations that would apply after the non-provisional patent applications have been filed.