The Australian Government has begun the process of phasing out the innovation patent. Learn more about what this means for you.


Last updated: 
22 November 2018

An innovation patent provides fast protection. It lasts for up to eight years from the filing date of your application.

An innovation patent may be suitable for an invention with a short market life that might be superseded by newer innovations.

It is suitable for a device, substance, method or process that does not have the inventive step requirement needed in a standard patent application.

To be eligible for an innovation patent your invention must:

  • involve novelty (be new)
    • the invention has not been publicly disclosed in any form, anywhere in the world before the earliest priority date (date at which the application is first filed).
  • involve an innovative step
    • the invention is different from what is known before and the difference makes a substantial contribution to the working of the invention. An innovative step is different to an inventive step (which is needed for a standard patent).

Other options

Provisional applications are inexpensive and give you the earliest possible priority date. A priority date establishes the fact that you are the first person to file a new invention with us. While a provisional application doesn’t provide you with the protection of a full patent, it does give you up to 12 months to consider your options before deciding to proceed with a patent application.

If you want long term protection for your invention, you may consider applying for a standard patent. The examination process is often longer, however protection lasts for up to 20 years.

If you are thinking about expanding your business overseas, you can consider a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application for your invention. A PCT application will give you a quick indication of whether your invention can be patented. It also allows you to decide which countries you would like to have protection in.

Take a look at our patent application guide (PDF, 3.89 MB).This application guide is designed to help you prepare and file a patent application.

We recommend that you seek professional assistance before applying for a patent.