Published: 
16 June 2020

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. 

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, check this page for updates. 

We are available through:

  • international: +61 2 6283 2999

Extensions of time

Extensions of time are available for those affected by COVID-19. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. The Commissioner/Registrar will consider the impacts of COVID-19  when assessing extension requests. 

You can submit a request for extension of time through our online services. A declaration is required to explain the specific circumstances why you can’t meet the due date. To assist you to prepare your declaration, a sample declaration is available 

These arrangements apply to most patents, trade marks and designs extension of time requests. For plant breeder’s rights (PBR) extensions of time, see below 

Note: 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.  

Opposition and hearings 

Hearings are being conducted by video conference, telephone, or written submission. If you believe that an in-person hearing is essential, pleasecontact us

International information

For information on the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the Madrid System, or WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center, please refer to WIPO's website. 

For applicants using the PCTwe are following the recommendations of WIPO contained in their recent interpretation of PCT Rule 82quater.1 in our capacity as Office and Authority under the PCT. 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.   

If you are seeking information about other offices’ response to COVID-19, WIPO has a COVID-19 Policy Tracker. This provides information on measures adopted by IP offices around the world.  

Corresponding with us

To receive important information from uswe recommend you register for our online services platform. Please contact us if you need help to set this up. You can also sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date.  

Refunds

Refunds and waivers of fees may be available in some circumstances connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will consider all requests on a case-by-case basis and will need specific reasons to justify the refund or waiver. Please contact us if you would like to discuss if a refund or waiver is possible. Note that financial hardship or inability to pay will not be considered valid reasons. 

Plant breeder's rights 

As COVID-19 restrictions ease, PBR examiners may be able to travel to some trial sites where it is safe to do so. Alternatives to travel may be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Qualified Persons currently managing or establishing field trials that may be ready for examination in 2021 should contact the PBR office to discuss the examination options. 

Where a customer has been impacted by COVID-19, we will continue to provide extra time for the PBR actions where we can under the legislation. Please email the PBR office if you have concerns about timeframes. 

Further information 

Information about Australian Government support for businesses during COVID-19 is available from the Australian Government COVID-19 pandemic website 

Our Business Continuity Plan (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. 

The former extension of time policy 

Until 31 March 2021, we had a streamlined process available to request extensions of time. Applicants now have to provide a reason in writing to request an extension. To assist you to prepare your declaration, a sample declaration is available.