Timeframes and fees

Registering a patent in Australia takes at least six months and costs a minimum of $110 for a provisional patent, and up to several thousand dollars for full protection.

Steps to protect an idea with a patent

There are four steps to granting a patent:

  1. You submit an application
  2. We examine your application
  3. We accept eligible applications and advertise them
  4. If no-one contests your application, we grant it.

From start to finish, the process will take at least six months, or in some circumstances, up to several years.

  • 1. Application
  • 2. Examination
  • 3. Acceptance
  • 4. Grant

1. Application

There are two types of patent applications:

1. A provisional application, used for provisional patents, gives you the earliest possible priority date and signals your intention to lodge a complete application in the near future.

2. A complete application, used for standard patents, starts the formal process to have the patent granted.

Cost depends on the type of application you apply for — see below.

How to apply

Provisional patent application fees

A provisional patent application costs a minimum of $110. To check if your patent hasn't already been protected overseas, you can opt for an international-type search request for $950.

Action
Fee
Provisional patent application $110
International-type search request (optional)  $950

 

Standard patent application fees

A standard patent application costs a minimum of $370.

Action Fee
Standard patent application $370

 

A preliminary search and opinion (PSO) is suitable for anyone who wants an early indication of their invention's patentability prior to examination. It doesn't replace formal examination or act as a binding determination of your application's validity. This is an optional step.

Note that once you request examination, you can no longer request an optional preliminary search and opinion (PSO).

Action Fee
Preliminary search and opinion (PSO) (optional) $950

 

Postal application fees

If you can't submit your application online, you can post it to us. Please note, higher fees apply.

Action Fees
Provisional patent application $210
Standard patent application $570

 

Extension of time

Many stages in the application process have deadlines. If you miss a deadline, or think that you need more time, you may be eligible to request an extension of time.

The cost will depend on the circumstances. Please note the following fees are charged by us. If you have an attorney acting on your behalf, you may be liable for additional legal fees.

Action Fee
Error or omission by the person concerned or by their agent $100 per month or part of month that the extension is sought for
Circumstances beyond the control of the person concerned  $100
Circumstances where due care has been taken $100 per month or part of month that the extension is sought for

2. Examination 

Your standard patent application must be examined by us before you can enforce your rights. If there are no issues with your application, it will progress to the 'acceptance' step. If your application doesn't meet the requirements, we'll send you a report explaining the issues.

In some cases, you may be able to fix your application. You won't need to pay a fee to make amendments that have been requested by us.

How to respond to examination reports

Fees

Examination of a patent costs a minimum of $490.

A re-examination can be requested by a third party if they believe that your patent infringes on their IP.

Action Fee
Examination request $490

 

Voluntary amendments to your application

You'll need to pay a fee if you decide to make amendments to your standard patent application before examination.

There isn't a fee for voluntary amendments made to provisional applications.

 Action Fee
Amend standard patent specification before examination $250

 

Timeframe to request examination

You have up to five years from your filing date to request examination and pay the associated fee.

If it's been close to five years since you applied and you still haven't requested examination, we'll send you a reminder. You'll have two months from the date of the reminder to request examination. If you don't request examination or fail to pay the fee, your application will lapse.

Expected wait times

Usually, it takes around 12 months for us to examine your application from the date you request examination. This time generally depends on the demand for our services. The table below outlines our current wait times.

In some circumstances, you can request speedier examination of your application. This reduces the waiting time to between four and eight weeks. You won't need to pay a fee for this, but you'll need to explain why your application is eligible for faster processing.

How to request faster examination

Current timeframes for examination (as of 7 October 2022) are detailed below. We update this information monthly.

 

Application type We're currently examining applications filed in
CHEM 1 - Biotechnology May 2021
CHEM 2 - Chemical compounds March 2021                                 
CHEM 3 - Bio-therapeutics October 2020
CHEM 4 - Polymers and applied chemistry September 2021
CHEM 5 - Pharmaceuticals April 2021
ELEC 1 - Physics October 2021
ELEC 2 - Electronics and communications November 2021
ELEC 3 - Computing October 2021
ELEC 4 - Data processing and measurements October 2021
MECH 1- Mechanical engineering August 2021
MECH 2 - Construction and mining October 2021
MECH 3 - Process engineering November 2021
MECH 4 - Medical devices October 2021
MECH 5 - Packaging and appliances September 2021

Request a refund or waiver

Under limited circumstances we may issue a refund or waive fees.

Request a refund or waiver

3. Acceptance

If your application passes examination, we'll email your online services inbox to let you know.

We'll publish a notice of acceptance in the Australian Journal of Patents (AOJP). Third parties will then have three months from when the notice is published to oppose grant of your application.

Fees

Once your application has been accepted, you'll need to pay a fee.

If the specification contains more than 20 claims, you'll need to pay an additional fee per claim as well as the baseline specification fee.

Action Fee
Standard patent acceptance (mandatory) $250
If the specification contains up to 20 claims at acceptance (mandatory $250
If the specification contains 21 to 30 claims at acceptance $125 per claim
If the specification contains 31 or more claims at acceptance $250 per claim

 

Voluntary amendments to your application

Action Fee
Amend standard patent specification after acceptance $250
Increase claims in the complete specification to total over 20 claims $250 per claim

4. Grant

If your patent isn't opposed, or if you overcome oppositions, we'll grant it and update its status in the Australian Official Journal of Patents (AOJP) and the AusPat search.

The granting of a patent provides 20 years' protection for standard patents or 25 years for pharmaceutical patents from the filing date, provided that renewal fees are paid. Once registered, it's your responsibility to manage and maintain your patent. There may be costs associated with this.

Manage my IP

Re-examination request

In some instances, a third party may ask us to re-examine your patent application. You may also request a re-examination of someone else's examination. The re-examination fee will be charged to the party that made the request.

Action Fee
Re-examination request $800
 

Costs of documents and certificates

You can order photocopies, certified copies or duplicates of documents through online services.

If you need your documents urgently, we can expedite postage. Please note, this only speeds up the postage time, not our processing time for your request.

Log in to online services

Document request

Fee

Copy of 1-3 documents from the same file $50 per document
Copy of 4+ documents from the same file $200
Expedited post $20 per document request

 

You can also order a commemorative certificate for display purposes from a third party.  The cost starts at $80 (+ GST). Commemorate certificates aren't legal documents and don't replace your official certificate.

Order a commemorative certificate

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.

Apply for a patent case manager