Policy ID: 
Issue summary: 

Currently, applicants for IP rights who file first overseas in a foreign language must provide a translation of all foreign-language documents into English when applying for or prosecuting any IP rights in Australia. Any filed translations must be accompanied by a certificate of verification providing that the translator undertakes that the document is a true and complete translation to the best of their knowledge, which is dated and signed by the translator.

This requirement to provide a certificate of verification not only places a burden on applicants that may not be necessary, and as such represents red tape in the patent system.

The proposed amendment will eliminate the requirement for a certificate of verification to be filed with the application, and instead will allow the Commissioner of Patents to request a certificate if he or she reasonably doubts the veracity of the translated document.


Policy development 04-Sept-2017

Legislative drafting 26-Mar-2018

Consultation 16-Nov-2018 to 21-Dec-2018

Legislative drafting 22-Dec-2018

Legislation registered 25-Mar-2019

Completed 25-Sep-2019


The issue was addressed by amendments in the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (PCT Translations and Other Measures) Regulations 2019 Schedule 1. The commencement of the amendments is delayed for six months to allow users of the IP system sufficient time to prepare for the changes.

The making of the amendments was accorded high priority as this is a relatively straightforward-to-implement fix that will improve IP Australia's customers' experience.

See also items 34 and 74.