Last updated: 
25 June 2020

As a patent applicant, engaging an attorney to help you through the process can greatly increase the chances of success. But we understand there are many applicants who choose to apply without the representation of an IP attorney. We often refer to those as ‘unrepresented applicants’ or ‘private applicants’.

IP Australia already provides resources and guides  and a virtual assistant to help applicants navigate the patent process. And our call centre is always there for general enquiries about the patent examination process, fees, and how to file an application.

As a prospective or existing applicant, with our new Case Management model, you will be able to contact a subject matter expert at any stage of your application or examination process.

Case managers will be able to give you information on a range of topics including:

  • knowledge of the patent system (what to expect during the application process, common terms and phrases)
  • filing guidance (how to format documents, what to include when you file)
  • how to search similar inventions (using search tools such as AusPat or Google Patents)
  • how to read examination reports (understanding what we are asking of you) 

The level of service that case managers will provide

Dedicated case managers will provide a single point of contact for SMEs, and ensure that they receive the help they need, when they need it.

Their role is to explain the patent system and what you need to consider before you apply for a patent. Case managers will help you navigate the material on our website and tailor our information to your enquiry. They will provide general guidance on what to include in your application, but they will not provide instruction or assistance on drafting specifications.

In addition to application-related information, Case Managers can provide guidance on matters such as fees, filing requirements, response timelines and how to use eServices. You can continue to contact your case manager once you have filed your application and even when it is being examined.

The Case Manager can also explain what other IP protection (such as trade marks, designs, PBR, copyright or trade secret) might be good to consider.

Case managers will not provide specific business or IP strategy advice, instead they can direct you to our resources which can assist, such as https://www.business.gov.au/ or IP Australia’s website.

How do I get a Case Manager?

You simply have to call our Customer Contact Centre. If the Customer Contact staff cannot answer your enquiries, where appropriate, they can then refer you to the Case Manager program. If you have already filed a patent application, then please have your application number at hand.