A patent is a right that is granted for any device, substance, method or process that is new, inventive and useful.

A patent is a legally enforceable right to commercially exploit the invention for the life of the patent.

Understanding patents

Your invention must be unique and inventive or innovative in order to gain patent protection.

Patent basics


Find out what is required to gain a patent and the benefits of a patent protection. 

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Types of patents


The two types of patents granted in Australia are the standard patent and the innovation patent. Find out about the differences in the type of inventions they cover and the length of protection they offer. We also explore the advantages of provisional and international applications.

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Time and costs


Fees are payable at different stages during the patent process and will depend on the type of application you are making.

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Searching patents


Searching can help you see whether there is anything similar in the market place which may affect the likelihood of your invention gaining patent protection. It can also be useful to obtain competitive product information and to make sure your product does not infringe someone else’s patent.

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Engaging an attorney toolkit

The patent application process can be daunting. For first time applicants engaging an attorney can greatly increase the chances of success. This is our step-by-step guide on how, why and when to engage a patent attorney.

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Find out about the application process

Provisional application

A provisional application allows you to establish the filing date of your invention while you decide whether to continue the patenting process.

Standard patent

A standard patent gives you long-term protection and control over your patent for up to 20 years.

Innovation patent

An innovation patent offers a much faster application process and gives you short-term protection and control over your patent for up to eight years.

International protection

A PCT application allows you to file one international application for one or more countries that are part of the Treaty (over 140 countries including Australia).

Managing your patent

Make the most of the benefits offered by patent protection by keeping it in force and guarding against infringement.

Maintaining your patent


Effective management of your patent is important to maintain its value. It is your responsibility to pay annual renewal fees and protect your patent against infringement.

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Amending your patent


Amendments can be made to your patent application in response to an examination report, as well as to update ownership or contact details.

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Opposition and re-examination

If you believe an invention should not be patented you can file for opposition. You may wish to provide information that demonstrates a patent needs to be revoked or re-examined. You can also contest the ownership of an invention.

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More about patents...

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3 March 2021

Online services will replace eServices from 1 July 2021. As a result, eServices will no longer be accessible from 30 June 2021. This means all customers will need to file and manage their IP rights in our new online services.

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15 October 2020

We heard what you had to say in our latest Customer Satisfaction Survey and in response we are making some changes to our patent examination reports.