How to apply for a standard patent

Here's a step-by-step process on how to apply for a patent in Australia.

Step 1. Do your research

Before applying, make sure you:

Step 2. Determine who owns the patent

A patent can be owned by:

  • The inventor(s)
  • The person who has legally obtained rights to the invention from the inventor(s) or an intermediary
  • A company, organisation or other employer of someone who made the invention in the course of their normal duties.

Step 3. Search existing patents

Conduct a thorough search to make sure your invention hasn't already been created.
You should search:

  • The internet, including social media
  • Patent databases, including international databases.

If your invention has already been shared publicly before you apply for a patent, it won't be eligible for protection. Provisional patents

Step 4. Gather your documents and write your specification

You'll need:

  • Ownership and inventor details (including postal address)
  • Contact details of an Australian or New Zealand agent
  • Prepared specification that describes your invention in detail, formatted in line with our guidelines
  • Payment details.

In certain circumstances it may be necessary to provide a sequence listing as part of the application.

How to write specifications Patenting biological inventions

Step 5. File your application

You'll need to:

You'll receive a filing notice with the details of your application.

Step 6. Your application is published on the Australian patent database

We'll advertise your patent in the Australian Official Journal of Patents (AOJP) and publish it to the Australian Patent search.

Publication of your patent means:

  • Your invention becomes public knowledge, and the contents of your application aren't confidential anymore
  • The publication date is set.

Step 7. Request examination

Once you've submitted your application, you (or another person) can request examination. This can be done when you file or at any time after you file your patent application. This process comes with a

You have up to five years from your filing date to request examination and pay the associated fee. If you don't, your patent application will lapse.

It can take up to 12 months for your patent application to be examined.

You can also request an expedited examination to have your patent examined faster.

How examination works

Step 8. Respond to issues raised

If there are any issues raised during our examination, you'll have 12 months to resolve them. If you can't overcome them, your application will lapse.

Step 9. See the outcome

We'll let you know the outcome via your online services inbox. If your application passes our examination process, it will be accepted and the following happens:

Need help with your patent application?

If you're a small to medium business, you could be eligible to use our free patent case manager service.

If you'd like legal advice or hands-on help with your application, you should consider engaging a patent attorney.

Apply for a patent case manager Engage a patent attorney