Last updated: 
30 May 2016

In some circumstances it is possible to convert your patent application from one type to another.

For example, if you have filed a standard application and then find that you are unable to overcome formalities and require more time to get your application in order, you may want to convert your application from a standard to a provisional.

There are several different ways an application can be converted.

Converting innovation patent applications

An innovation patent application can be converted to:

  • a provisional application:
    • The request to convert must be made between the filing date of the innovation patent application and the earliest of these dates:
      • the application acceptance
      • 12 months from the filing date.
  • a standard patent application:
    • The request to convert must be made before the acceptance of the innovation patent application.

As innovation patent applications are accepted within weeks of filing, requesting the conversion of the application should be made as soon as possible.

Phase out of the innovation patent

The Australian Government has begun the process of phasing out the innovation patent with the passing of legislative amendments. This means:

  • The last day you can file a new innovation patent will be 25 August 2021.
  • Existing innovation patents that were filed on or before 25 August 2021 will continue in force until their expiry. This will ensure current rights holders are not disadvantaged.

The Government remains committed to dedicated support services to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) navigate the intellectual property (IP) system. Australian SMEs will receive further dedicated support, with an SME case management service, the SME fast track service, a dedicated outreach program and online portal, to be launched as the innovation patent is phased out over the next 18 months.

Learn more about what the phase out of the innovation patent means for you.

Converting standard patent applications

A standard patent application can be converted to:

  • a provisional application:
    • The request to convert must be made between the filing date of the standard patent application and the earliest of these dates:
      • 12 months from the filing date, before the application is accepted
      • three weeks before its publication.
  • an innovation patent application:
    • The request to convert must be made before the acceptance of the standard patent application.

Other requirements

Conversion requests may require an upfront payment of the balance of filing fees between the differing patent products.

Requests must contain the same patent request details as the original application that is being converted.