Examination of an innovation patent is an optional process, but your patent cannot be legally enforced until it is certified through examination. Examination can be requested by the applicant or by a third party.
Your patent will be examined mainly based on whether it involves novelty and an innovative step.
To have legally enforceable patent rights, you must request examination, and pay the required fee.
After examination we will send you either:
- a notice that your patent has been successfully certified or
- an examination report detailing our reasons for why we believe your application isn’t valid.
Receiving an examination report
If we believe your application isn’t valid, we will send you an examination report within six weeks of your examination request. You will then be able to make changes to your application to overcome the objections in the report.
Often you can resolve these objections by changing your description or claims.
Once you make your changes we may keep issuing reports may until there are no more objections.
Once all objections are overcome, your application will be certified.
If you have do not overcome all objections within six months from the date of our first report, your application will cease.
Third party requesting examination of your innovation patent
Your competitors can also request examination of your innovation patent. They may do this if they own a patent that might be infringed by your invention and they believe your patent will be found to be invalid during the examination process.
If a competitor requests examination, they will pay half of the examination fee and you will pay the remainder. If you don't pay your half of the examination fee, your innovation patent will cease.
See examination/acceptance for fees for Innovation Patent Examination Request (Patentee), Innovation 3rd Party Examination Request (3rd Party) and Innovation 3rd Party Examination Request (Patentee).
Length of examination process
There is no set time to request examination within the eight year duration of an innovation patent.
An examination report will be issued about six weeks from requesting examination.
Your application needs to be certified within six months from the first examination report date.