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Obtaining a patent in Australia

The present white paper provides a brief overview of the procedure for obtaining a patent in Australia and is aimed at non-Australian entities that may be considering filing a patent application in Australia via PCT National Phase Entry. The following aspects are addressed: application, request for examination, examination, notice of entitlement, acceptance and sealing, and renewal fees.

Australia in a patenting context

Despite its small population, Australia is a major player in many industries including mining and resources, energy, agriculture and food, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and software, with many Australian companies recognized as world leaders.

Australia contains a highly educated and skilled research base, and many multinational corporations undertake a significant amount of their research and development in Australia.

Australia ranks highly in any international patent comparisons, including the cost effectiveness of patent enforcement. Further, Australia ranks number nine for PCT National Phase Entries, and interestingly around 90% of all applications are from non – residents.

All of these factors point to Australia being a country where one should, as part of an international filing strategy, consider patent protection. As a result, the following has been prepared for the information of non-Australian entities that may be considering filing a patent application in Australia via PCT National Phase Entry. Earlier in 2013, a number of procedural changes were introduced in the Australian Patents Act, and these changes are reflected below.