The increase in fees, which will come into effect on 1 October 2020, is to ensure that IP Australia continues to recover costs from administering intellectual property rights and their associated legislation.

Advice for patent owners in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries

It may be of interest to note that substantial fee increases will apply to renewal fees for late stage pharmaceutical patents that have been extended beyond 20 years. For those who have late stage pharmaceutical patents in their portfolio it may be worth conducting an audit to identify any patents that have been awarded an extension of term. Significant savings could be made by paying the renewal fees on these patents before the increases come into effect.

Limit excess claims to minimise patent fee increases

Fee increases will also apply to patent applications with excess claims. The current excess claim fee of $110 for each additional claim over 20 has been replaced with a stepped fee structure of $125 for every claim over 20 claims but less than or equal to 30 claims, and $250 for every claim over 30 claims. These fee increases can therefore be minimised by keeping the total number of claims to 30 or less.

See a full list of the fee changes on the IP Australia website via link below. If you have any queries about the upcoming changes or would like to seek further advice, please contact us.