The story of the Australian innovation patent started with the introduction of the ‘petty patent’ in 1979, and will end with the phasing out of the innovation patent on 25 August 2021. As the February 2020 IP Australia announcement heralded the end of the second tier patent system in Australia, the August deadline for filing new direct innovation patent applications may affect how you protect your IP in the future.

Do I need to take action?

Yes – if you are considering filing an innovation patent as a first filing or convention filing.

The deadline is particularly relevant if you have an existing provisional application. This is because either an innovation patent application or an Australian complete application must be in place by 25 August 2021 if an innovation patent is/may be desired from that provisional filing.

What action should I take on or before 25 August 2021?

  • File an innovation patent application; or
  • File a standard patent application in Australia or a PCT application.

Important: even though the innovation patent system is being phased out, existing innovation patents will continue to be enforceable, as will any new innovation patent applications filed on or before the cut-off date of 25 August 2021.

A transition summary and brief history of the Australian innovation patent can be found here. A brief description of the innovation patent process can be found here.

If you’re an SME or startup – a number of other countries still have a utility model, which is similar to an innovation patent and may provide a useful overseas filing strategy as the innovation patent is phased out. Read about it here.

To discuss the phasing out of the innovation patent and your options, please contact your FB Rice patent attorney.