Last updated: 
28 October 2021

As a patent applicant, engaging a patent attorney can greatly increase the chances of success. While we recommend you engage an attorney to help you maximise your chance of obtaining an effective patent, we understand that you may not yet have done this or you may choose to apply without legal representation.

We are piloting a new SME Case Management service for patent applicants, in particular, for small and medium enterprises who may not yet have legal representation. SME Case Management connects you with a dedicated IP Australia subject matter expert who is your single point of contact to assist you at any stage of the application or examination process.

How could a case manager assist me?

Case managers can assist prospective or existing applicants with information on:

  • where to access resources on our website
  • how to search similar inventions using search tools such as AusPat or Google Patents
  • knowledge of the patent system, including what to expect during the application process, common terms, timelines, fees, etc
  • general information on what to include in your application
  • general information on filing, including how to format documents, what to include when you file and how to access our online services
  • how to read examination reports.

You can continue to contact your case manager once you have filed your application and even while it is being examined.

Your case manager can also talk to you about what other IP protection you could consider, such as trade marks, designs, plant breeder's rights, copyright or trade secret.

Case managers work within the bounds of various legislation, including the Patents Act, and therefore are not able to:

  • provide instruction or assistance in drafting specifications or preparing your patent application
  • offer feedback on your application, including before you file, nor offer an opinion on the validity of your idea
  • give business or commercialisation advice
  • provide IP strategy advice.

How do I get a Case Manager?

Our Customer Contact Centre continues to be your first port of call for general enquiries about the patent application process, however, a case manager can provide more tailored advice.

If you are a prospective or existing patent applicant you can request a case manager at any stage of the application or examination process by calling our Customer Contact Centre and requesting a patents case manager. If you have already filed a patent application, then please have your application number at hand.

Other resources

We offer a range of resources and guides to help smaller businesses navigate the patent application process.  And our virtual assistant and call centre are available to assist you with general enquiries about the patent examination process.