Change to requirements for certificates of verification for patent applications

At a glance

Policy ID: 22

Status: Completed

Priority: No priority assigned


Issue summary

Currently, applicants for IP rights who file first overseas in a foreign language must provide a translation of all foreign-language documents into English when applying for or prosecuting any IP rights in Australia. Any filed translations must be accompanied by a certificate of verification providing that the translator undertakes that the document is a true and complete translation to the best of their knowledge, which is dated and signed by the translator.

This requirement to provide a certificate of verification not only places a burden on applicants that may not be necessary, and as such represents red tape in the patent system.

The proposed amendment will eliminate the requirement for a certificate of verification to be filed with the application, and instead will allow the Commissioner of Patents to request a certificate if he or she reasonably doubts the veracity of the translated document.


  • Policy development 4 September 2017
  • Legislative drafting 26 March 2018
  • Consultation 16 November 2018 to 21 December 2018
  • Legislative drafting 22 December 2018
  • Legislation registered 25 March 2019
  • Completed 25 September 2019


The issue was addressed by amendments in the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (PCT Translations and Other Measures) Regulations 2019 Schedule 1. The commencement of the amendments is delayed for six months to allow users of the IP system sufficient time to prepare for the changes.

The making of the amendments was accorded high priority as this is a relatively straightforward-to-implement fix that will improve IP Australia's customers' experience.

See also items 34 and 74.


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