Last updated: 
24 June 2020

As a patent applicant, engaging an attorney to help you through the process can greatly increase the chances of success. But we understand there are many applicants who choose the apply without the representation of an IP attorney. We often refer to those as ‘unrepresented applicants’ or ‘private applicants’.

IP Australia already provides resources and guides to help applicants (in particular small to medium enterprises, startups and those not represented by IP professionals) navigate the patent process.

As a prospective or existing applicant, you are able to have your standard patent application examined within 8 weeks, as fast as the current innovation patent. This is known as expedited examination. Requesting expedited examination has no additional cost is already available to you if;

  • your invention is in the field of green technology,
  • you need a granted patent in order to commercialise or license out your invention
  • you are concerned that you may be infringed.

Currently it can take more than a year for your examination process to begin. Fast Tracking the examination process can reduce your waiting time to between four and eight weeks.

The choice to Fast Track your examination will depend on your IP strategy and where you are in your business journey. To make the decisions it might be helpful to consider:

  • when you need to enforce your patent. Remember, your patent applications needs to be examined, accepted and then granted before it can be enforced.
  • does an investor require your patent to be granted before investing in your invention?
  • would faster examination help your commercialisation decision? For example, when to commence production or comple market research?
  • do you need a granted patent in order to license your invention to a third party?

If you intend to apply for patents overseas, then also consider the timeframes of the overseas patent office. It can be beneficial to align the timing of your Australia patent with your overseas applications. Similarly, you may find that expedited examination in Australia then gives you confidence to file overseas.

Many applicants are happy to proceed to examination using the normal process because it provides them with time to develop and plan the commercialisation and marketing of their invention before committing to a greater financial expense.

For more information about Fast Tracking your examination, including international considerations.