There are several reasons why you would want to amend the details in your patent application, including:
- adding information to a patent application
- amending your patent to keep details up to date, such as ownership and addresses
- amending your application in response to an adverse examination report.
You can make these amendments online, by post or in person.
Changing your specification
Once you have filed the specification for your patent application you have limited options to change it.
Any amendment that increases the scope of material covered in a provisional application will not be allowed. If you want to add new matter to a provisional application, you should consider filing a new provisional application as soon as possible to secure a priority date.
The type of application determines when a voluntary amendment can be filed:
- Standard or provisional applications can be amended at any time (provided the application has not lapsed).
- Innovation applications can only be amended after they have been granted (unless the amendment has been filed to overcome a formalities direction issued by us).
Amendments to a patent application will incur a fee if they are made:
- before you request examination or
- after the standard patent application has been accepted.
There is no fee for filing a voluntary amendment on a provisional application. It is also free to amend an innovation or standard patent application after examination has been requested.
Voluntary amendments are considered by an examiner. The examiner will either:
- allow the amendment and advertise for an opposition period of two months and two weeks or
- send you a report explaining why the amendment is not allowable.
Keeping patent information up to date
When your patent is granted, it is important that you keep this information up to date.
Contact us if:
- you change your name or address
- the ownership of the patent changes, for example, by assignment
- you grant a licence to the invention to another person
- you are aware of any errors in the details recorded.
If ownership of a patent application has been assigned to another party, you need to let us know.
Ownership changers can include a transfer of interest from one party to another or a merger.
You will need to supply a copy of documents that confirm the transfer, such as a deed of assignment, merger document or sale agreement. These documents must include:
- the name(s) of the current owner(s)
- the name(s) of the new owner(s)
- the date the assignment was executed
- the application or patent number(s) the assignment relates to
- signatures confirming a change of ownership. Depending on the circumstances, signatures from both parties may be required. If there is more than one current owner, all the owners have to approve the change.
Change of name
There are two ways to change the name of a patent applicant:
- by the current applicant asking us to amend the patent request to delete their name and insert the name of the new applicant or
- by the new applicant asking us to change the current applicant's name to their own.
If the new applicant asks us for the change, we will need to be satisfied that they own the application. Documents proving ownership may need to be filed. These documents might be records of assignments or a certificate showing that a company has changed its name.
If you have a granted patent and discover that your name is recorded incorrectly, you can ask us to change your name only if the incorrect recording of your name happened because of a clerical error or it is obvious that there is a mistake with the name.
To change an incorrect name caused by a clerical error, you will need to provide a declaration or other evidence.
If you cannot prove that a clerical error has occurred, you could try and get the change made by a court order.
Changing your agent
If you have decided to change the agent for your patent you must do this by asking us to amend your agent details. You need to provide the following information:
- an address for correspondence this is where your correspondence will be addressed to (this address does not need to be located in Australia)
- an address for legal service (this address must be an Australian address where documents may be served), it may be a street address, post-office box, locked bag or postal delivery point to which a contractor of Australia Post routinely delivers mail
If the addresses supplied in your request do not meet the above requirements your request will not be processed.
Change of address
To change your recorded address you should write to us stating what the new address is. No further evidence is required.
Recording a mortgage or licence
If you want to record the details of a security interest such as a mortgage that has been taken out on your patent (or you have taken out on another person's patent), you need to record this on the national online Personal Property Securities Register.