Doing business with us

We're committed to making your experience with us smooth, quick and easy, whether you're using our services, paying a fee, or requesting a refund.

Our commitment to you

When working with you we're committed to:

  • Being helpful and courteous
  • Ensuring you can easily access our services
  • Responding promptly while providing you with clear and accurate information
  • Being consistent, reliable and fair.

We measure our service delivery against our Customer Service Charter commitments.

Our charter provides timeframes, so you'll know when to expect responses and action from us. We also provide monthly updates on current response times for trade marks and patents.

Transacting with us

Online services

Our online services portal is a secure, reliable and convenient way to access a range of services.

You can use online services to:

  • Apply for an IP right
  • Renew or amend your application
  • Make payments
  • Manage your IP rights
  • Review correspondence
  • Update your details.

You can also use online services to access international application systems through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Log in to online services

Fees and charges

There are fees involved in applying for and managing an IP right. We break down the different fees involved so you're aware of what's required at each stage.

You can also use WIPO's international trade mark fee calculator to determine how much your international application might cost. 

Credit card

The most efficient and cost-effective way to pay your fees is directly through online services using Visa, MasterCard or American Express (AMEX).

Log in to online services

Cheque or money order

We accept personal and bank cheques. If you want to use a cheque, you'll need to:

It is subject to a five-day clearance.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

You'll need to complete and send us an EFT form. Contact us for details on how to do this.

Direct debit

Direct debit payment is limited to Business to Business (B2B) customers. If you're interested in setting this up, get in touch.

Contact us

Sending electronic physical media

For certain transactions you can forward physical media to us.

When sending electronic physical media to us, we accept:

  • CD-ROM

  • CD-R

  • DVD

  • DVD-R.

We don't accept:

  • USB devices.

Your media must be:

  • Accompanied by a coversheet that's generated after you've completed your transaction

  • Enclosed in a hard case and accompanied by a transmittal letter. The transmittal letter must list:

    • The computer platform (e.g. IBM-PC, Macintosh)

    • The operating system (e.g. MS-DOS, MS-Windows)

    • The files, including name, size in bytes and date of creation.

  • The hard case must be labelled with the following information:

    • Name of the sender

    • Name of the invention (patents only)

    • Any relevant reference number

    • Creation date

    • The order of media, if there's more than one.

Please note that we don't return any electronic media sent to us.

Fee refunds, waivers and exemptions

In certain circumstances you might be entitled to a refund, waiver or exemption of your fees. In some cases it's automatically granted, or you may need to make a request in writing.  

Automatically granted refunds

We'll automatically refund money when you've:

  • Submitted a payment for something we can't do, such as car registration
  • Submitted a payment with a request for something that's not possible, like opposing a newly filed application
  • Accidentally overpaid a fee or paid the fee twice.

We'll send you a letter confirming why your money has been refunded.

Overcharged examination fees

Between 1996 and 2022, some plant breeder's right applicants were overcharged their examination fee for growing trials conducted at a Centralised Testing Centre (CTC).

What's happened?

If you trialled a variety at an authorised Centralised Testing Centre (CTC) you were entitled to a discounted examination fee, regardless of the number of applications being examined at the same time.

It's come to our attention that you may have been incorrectly charged a higher examination fee.

Affected customers, where known, are being contacted to offer a refund. If you feel you've been affected, you're invited to contact us to request a refund of the difference between the fee you paid and the discounted fee you were entitled to.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this error may have caused.

How did this happen?

Since 1996, a practice has been in place whereby applicants were only entitled to a discounted examination fee for using an authorised CTC when five or more candidate varieties of the same genus were tested simultaneously.

A review of this condition has found that it contradicts the fee schedule as outlined in the Plant Breeder’s Rights Regulations 1994. The regulations stipulate that all applications for a variety trialled by an authorised establishment (such as CTC) are entitled to a discounted examination fee.

How will I know if I was overcharged?

If your variety was trialled or tested for examination purposes at an establishment that was authorised at the time as a CTC for your species, and you paid examination fees higher than the discounted amount listed in table 1 or table 2 below, you may be entitled to a refund of the difference in amounts.

We'll contact customers who've previously paid examination fees for a current active application/granted right via the email address for service we have on file, and will inform them that they may be entitled to a refund.

A list of authorised CTCs can be found in the Plant Variety Journal published in the timeframe relevant to when your trial was conducted.

How much was I overcharged?

The tables below outline the amount an applicant may have been overcharged based on the examination fee paid.

Table 1 - Examination fees paid from 01 July 2012 to current for an application trialled at an authorised CTC

Fee Charged/Paid   Discounted fee
(for a variety trialled at an authorised CTC)  
Amount overcharged  Partial refund entitlement 
$1610
(full examination fee) 
$920 $690 $690
$1380 multiple application discount
(if 2 or more varieties tested simultaneously at the same site in Australia) 
$920 $460 $460
$920
(if the variety was trialled at an authorised CTC)
$920 $0 $0

 

Table 2 - Examination fees prior to 30 June 2012 for an application trialled at an authorised CTC

Fee Charged/Paid   Discount fee
(for a variety trialled at an authorised CTC) 
Discount fee
(for a variety trialled at an authorised CTC) 
Partial refund entitlement 
$1400
(full examination fee) 
$800 $600 $600
$1200 
(multiple application discount if 2 or more varieties tested simultaneously at the same site in Australia)
$800 $400 $400
$800
(if the variety was trialled at an authorised CTC) 
$800 $0 $0

 

How do I request a refund?

To be entitled to the refund you'll need to:

  • Complete a CTC examination refund request form
  • Provide proof of examination fee payment, and/or
  • Provide evidence of using a CTC for the variety that's the subject of your refund request (i.e. receipt, bank statement, statutory declaration)
  • Complete the required number of request forms:
    • If you trialled multiple varieties at the same CTC at the same time, you can add them to the one request form by combining all of the application numbers (four or less) and variety names in their fields, separated by commas. If there were five or more then the discount should have already been applied
    • If you used the CTC over multiple trial periods, you must submit a refund request form for each instance of CTC use.

Note: if you're an Agent for an application and are requesting a refund on behalf of your client, you must include a letter of authority from the PBR applicant/owner.

Request a CTC refund

How will the overcharged amount be refunded?

Here's how it works:

  • We'll review your application and determine whether you're entitled to a refund
  • We'll process the refund within two weeks of receiving your refund request
  • Your refund will be transferred into your nominated bank account.

How to request a refund or waiver

If you believe you're entitled to a refund, waiver or exemption of fees, you'll need to let us know in writing via online services.

Log in to online services

 

What you need to know

Here's where you can learn more about how we deal with refunds and waivers.  

Our corporate guidelines outline our policies for responding to:

  • Overpayments
  • Underpayments
  • Refunds
  • Waivers.

We'll make a final decision on whether to refund monies or waive fees. If you'd like to learn more about this process, please contact us for a copy of the guidelines.

Contact us

Compensation for financial loss caused by defective administration

The Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (CDDA) scheme enables Commonwealth agencies to pay compensation where there is a moral rather than a legal obligation to do so.

You can learn more about the guidelines for assessing claims under the CDDA scheme issued by the Department of Finance. You might need to complete an application for compensation.