Published: 
15 February 2021

We are here to help

We recognise that many of our customers may be struggling with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. We are committed to supporting our customers and are here to help through these difficult times. Your requests and enquiries will be addressed as quickly as we can during this time. 

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we recommend checking this page regularly for updates. 

We are still available through:

  • international: +61 2 6283 2999

Extensions of time until 31 March 

A streamlined process for extension of time requests is available until 31 March 2021. Associated fees are waived or refunded to assist those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.  

  • Until March 2021, customers impacted by COVID-19 can submit a request for extension of time through our online services. There is no need to provide any additional written explanation. 

  • An extension of time of up to 3 months is available and is free of charge. The usual fee is waived automatically in our online services. 

  • This arrangement applies to most patents, trade marks, and designs extension of time requests. For plant breeder’s rights (PBR) extensions of time, see the PBR frequently asked questions (FAQs). This arrangement does not apply to extensions of time for payment of renewal fees.  

  • Please note that where our legislation requires it, we must give the other party in an opposition matter an opportunity to comment on the request for an extension of time. The comments must be made by written submissions only and submitted to us in 7 business days. 

For more information on extensions of time for COVID-19, please refer to the FAQs below. 

Extensions of time after 31 March

Extensions of time will remain available after 31 March for those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Subject to any further developments in the pandemic, however, requests will then be considered on a case-by-case basis with the Commissioner/Registrar considering the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Customers impacted by COVID-19 can submit a request for extension of time through our online services. A declaration will be required to explain why you can’t comply with the due date. A sample declaration will be available to assist you.
  • This arrangement apply to most patents, trade marks and designs extension of time requests. For PBR extensions of time, see PBR FAQs.
  • Please note that where our legislation requires it, we must give the other party in an opposition matter an opportunity to comment on the request for an extension of time.

For more information, please refer to the relevant IP right FAQs below.

Corresponding with IP Australia 

We understand that businesses may have been impacted due to COVID-19. If postal services in your location are interrupted by the pandemic, official correspondence from us may not reach you. An alternative to receiving correspondence is through our online services platform which delivers correspondence digitally. We recommend you register to ensure you continue to get important and relevant correspondence from us. Please contact us if you need assistance to set this up. 

Opposition and hearings policy 

To comply with COVID-19 restrictions and ensure the safety of customers, staff and the public, hearings are now being conducted by video conference, telephone or written submission. All our services, including requests for opposition, continue to operate as usual. 

Frequently asked questions 

We understand that you may have questions around your IP right during this pandemic. We have created specific FAQs to assist you. If you are not sure about your circumstance, please reach out to our contact centre on 1300 65 10 10. We will continue to update these FAQs with the latest information related to your IP right. 

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 

If you need information on any developments regarding applications or registrations under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the Madrid Protocol, or WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center, please refer to WIPO's website.

In our capacity as an Office and Authority under the PCT, we also intend to follow the recommendations of WIPO contained in the recent interpretation of PCT Rule 82quater.1. Please see further information about WIPO’s interpretation of Rule 82quater.1 and an explanation of WIPO’s extensions of time limits for failure to pay fees.   

WIPO also has a COVID-19 Policy Tracker, which provides information on measures adopted by IP offices around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the extension of deadlines.  

Australian Government and other support 

Along with our support, there are several other measures available:

Further information 

The Department of Health currently has an active alert monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19. The Australian Government, and in turn we are taking this issue seriously, activating necessary precautions in line with our Business Continuity Plan (BCP). 

Our BCP (consistent with Australian Government requirements) ensures we monitor and take appropriate actions to safeguard our staff and the services we provide customers. For up-to-date information about COVID-19, please see the Department of Health’s website.