What does examination involve?
We'll examine your application to assess your invention. We'll check if:
- It's new
- It has an inventive step — is it different enough to what already exists?
- The invention is something that can be patented.
How much does it cost?
The examination fee is $490. There may be additional fees involved if you need to make amendments to your application prior to examination.
When should I request examination?
Once you've filed your standard patent application, you can request examination at any time within the next 5 years. We'll aim to examine your application within 12 months of your request.
If the 5 year deadline is approaching and you still haven't requested examination, we'll send you a reminder. You'll have 2 months from the date of the reminder to make the request. If you don't request examination or fail to pay the fee, your application will lapse.
You may be able to request faster examination at no additional cost. Known as expedited examination, this can reduce the wait time to between 4 and 8 weeks.
Should I expedite my examination?
You'll need to consider if faster examination will benefit your overall intellectual property (IP) strategy.
You may decide to request expedition if you:
- Need to be able to enforce your patent soon
- Have an investor who's waiting on a patent to be granted
- Urgently need to begin production or complete market research
- Need to license your invention to a third party.
If you plan to protect the same invention overseas, it may not be advantageous to expedite your Australian application. Once your patent has been granted, we'll publish the details of the invention publicly. This may affect its eligibility for protection in other countries.
Common reasons for expedition
You'll need to indicate why you think your application should be expedited.
This may be due to commercial licensing reasons or legal pressures such as infringement proceedings. Alternatively, you may be eligible for one of the 3 fast track options.
Fast track for green technology
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century -- we want green technologies to reach consumers as quickly as possible. Since technology and innovation play a key role in our ability to address the global impacts, our agency offers a fast track patent processes for environmentally-friendly innovations.
Fast track for small to medium enterprises
Australian small to medium enterprises (SME) are able to fast track their standard patent application using SME Fast Track.
Examination under the patent prosecution highway
If you have a patent application allowed in another eligible country, you may qualify to have your corresponding Australian application examined more quickly under one of our patent prosecution highway (PPH) agreements.