Certification
Like a standard patent is granted, an innovation patent must be certified before it can be enforced.
Examination
The process during which your patent application is assessed to ensure it meets the requirements.
Filing date
The date when the application reaches us in complete form. If your applications is successful, this is the date from when your invention is protected from copying by others.
Complete specification
Documents which fully describe the invention and includes at least one claim of what you want to protect with the patent.
Granted
While many people talk about ‘registered patents’, they are actually awarded a patent when it is ‘granted’ by us. Once your patent application has been granted you are free to make commercial use of it.
Infringement
The commercial use of another person’s patented invention without their consent.
Innovation patent
A relatively quick, inexpensive way to protect innovations that may not qualify for standard patent protection. Innovation patents require novelty and an ‘innovative step’ to be valid. Protection lasts for a maximum of eight years.
Innovative step
This is required for an innovation patent (as opposed to an inventive step which is required for a standard patent). An innovative step exists when the invention is different from what is known before and the difference makes a substantial contribution to how the invention works. Manner of manufacture A legal term used to distinguish inventions that are patentable from those that are not. For example, things like artistic creations, mathematical methods, plans, schemes or other purely mental processes cannot be patented.
International patent
There is no such thing as a ‘global patent’ that covers the entire world. A PCT application can be used to apply in multiple international countries at the same time, but once received each country will process the application separately under their own national laws.
Inventive step
To secure a standard patent, an invention needs to include an inventive step. The question to ask is: Would your invention be obvious to anyone with expert knowledge of the industry? If the answer is ‘yes’ then your invention probably doesn’t include an inventive step.
Novelty
Standard and innovation patents are novel if they haven’t been previously disclosed.
Opposition
A challenge from a third party against the granting of your patent application. An opposition may be based on one or more of a number of grounds, but must be supported by evidence.
Patent
A patent is an intellectual property right granted for any device, substance, method or process that excludes others from commercially exploiting it without consent.
Patent application
Documents filed with us disclosing and claiming an invention and requesting a standard or innovation patent for an inventor or nominated applicant.
Patent Attorney
Patent attorneys are different to lawyers. They provide advice and assistance in intellectual property matters, including applying for and drafting patents.
A search on the internet or patents databases to see if something similar has already been published or patented.
PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty)
An international agreement used to file a patent application internationally. To use the PCT you need to select the countries in which you want to apply.
Prior art
Anything which has already been disclosed or published before the priority date of an application.
Priority date
The date when you first filed the application for your patent. This can mark the date from which your invention is protected.
Provisional application
A preliminary application that is used to establish a priority date for an invention. It usually includes a description of the invention but no claims, and does not give patent protection on its own. You then have 12 months to file a complete application otherwise you will lose this priority date.
Standard patent
A right granted for any device, substance, method or process that is new, inventive and useful. A standard patent can last for up to 20 years (25 years for some pharmaceutical patents).
Utility
An invention has utility if it does what it says it will do. Inventions such as perpetual motion machines that break the laws of physics will lack utility.

For IP Australia’s full glossary list please visit: www.ipaustralia.gov.au/tools-resources/ip-glossary