Filing a Patent: Australian provisional patent application

Filing a Patent

Filing a patent application usually first involves the filing of an Australian provisional patent application and will provide you with 12 months of protection. After filing a provisional application, a patent search is usually performed to attempt to identify relevant prior art. This will give you an indication of how likely it is that your patent application will succeed, and how to prosecute your patent application in later stages of the application process.

Filing a Patent: PCT international application

Filing a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) international application with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is the beginning of the international phase of the process of obtaining patent protection in the countries you elect. A PCT application must be filed within 12 months of the filing of a national application if an earlier priority date is required. The filing of your PCT application establishes an effective filing date in over 140 countries which are signatories to the treaty.

PCT applications normally last up to 30-31 months from the priority date before lapsing. To protect your invention in each country of interest, complete national phase applications have to be filed in each individual country before the relevant deadline. Filing a PCT application also allows you to delay the deadline for (and thus mitigate the costs of) filing individual complete applications in each desired country for up to 18 months after the expiry of a provisional patent application.

Filing a Patent: PCT national phase patent application

Filing a Patent

The minimum filing requirements for a PCT national phase patent application in Australia are:

IP Australia may also request the following additional documents during the filing process:

Filing a Patent: non-PCT route

Note that filing a PCT application is optional. You may otherwise obtain patent protection in the countries you elect by directly filing individual complete patent applications in each country. However, the filing cost of this stage can be quite significant if a large number of countries are selected. Because most inventors and small companies are not in a financial position to afford the filing costs so early on, opting for the PCT application is the most common avenue for the complete application process.

Important Disclaimer: The information on this website is not legal or professional advice. The information may:

  1. not be correct;
  2. only relate to the law or practice in a given country; and/or
  3. be outdated.