Maintaining your patent

It is up to you to manage your patent once it has been granted.

Effective management of your patent is an important factor in maintaining its value.

It requires a clear understanding of the often complex law and legislation involved. You may consider the assistance of a patent attorney to manage your patent.

To maintain the legal protection your patent provides, you must:

We will not enforce your patent for you. It is your responsibility to:

  • protect your patent against infringement and take action if you find it is being copied or used without your permission
  • consider your international rights.

Renew your patent by paying annual fees

Annual renewal fees must be paid on your patents if you want them to remain in force. It is up to you to pay them on time.

The quickest and easiest way to renew your patent is through online services. You can pay using your credit card and the renewal is effective immediately.

The cost will vary depending on the type of patent and the number of years that have passed since you originally filed it. These fees are usually due on or before the anniversary of the filing date of your complete application.

For a standard patent, you start paying renewal fees from the fourth anniversary of the filing date, regardless of whether the patent has been granted yet or not. Renewal fees are then due each anniversary after that until the patent ceases.

You begin paying annual renewal fees for innovation patents on the second anniversary of the filing date. Renewal fees are then due each year up to the seventh anniversary of the filing date (the maximum term of an innovation patent is eight years).

You can view your patent details online to check the date your renewal fee is due.

We send out a reminder notice to those not being represented by a registered patent attorney, but these are a courtesy and we do not take responsibility if you don't receive the notice for any reason.

One option to ensure the renewal fee is paid on time is to arrange for an annuity firm or a patent attorney to keep track of the due date and forward your payment on to us.

Unpaid fees

If the fee is not paid on or before the due date, it can still be paid within six months from that date. If the fee is paid within this grace period, an additional fee will be charged for each month or part month that the payment is late.

If you don't pay your fee by the end of this grace period your patent will no longer be in force.

If you miss paying the renewal fee and the six month grace period has expired, it may be possible to recover your patent by applying for an extension of time to pay the fee. Extensions are only possible in certain circumstances, such as if you unintentionally missed paying the fee before the due date.

Last updated: 
30 May 2016