FOR IP PROFESSIONALS

Innovation patent

An innovation patent lasts up to 8 years and is designed to protect inventions that do not meet the inventive threshold required for standard patents. It is a relatively quick and inexpensive way to obtain protection for your new device, substance, method or process.

An innovation patent is usually granted within a month of filing the complete application. This is because there is no examination before it is granted.

The innovation patent requires an innovative step rather than an inventive step, to protect an incremental advance on existing technology that may not qualify for standard patent protection rather than a groundbreaking invention.

An innovative step exists when the invention is different from what is known before and the difference makes a substantial contribution to the working of the invention.

If you want protection for an invention with a short market life that might be superseded by newer innovations, such as computer based inventions, an innovation patent is worth considering.

Important: Examination of an innovation patent will only occur if requested by the patentee, a third party or if the Commissioner of Patents decides to examine the patent. An innovation patent is only legally enforceable if it has been examined by us, been found to meet the requirements of the Patents Act, and  has been certified.

Benefits of the innovation patent

  • If it is examined and certified, the innovation patent offers the same level of protection as a standard patent in preventing others from copying your invention.
  • Unlike a standard patent, you only pay to have an innovation patent examined when you need to stop others from copying your invention.

Limitations of the innovation patent

The innovation patent is granted without examination, which means validity of the application is not verified by us. This may make the patent more difficult to sell or license until the patent has been examined and certified.

Also, you are unable to go to court to enforce the innovation patent until it has been examined and certified.

An innovation patent can only be applied for in Australia. You have to apply separately in other countries if you want to enforce the patents overseas.

Last Updated: 03/4/2014

Meet Tanvir
Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Breeding

Plant Breeder's Rights Examiner since 1996
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