Obtaining patent protection in Australia and overseas
>> Obtaining patent protection
Provisional patent application
The first step towards obtaining patent protection generally involves filing a provisional patent application. The provisional patent application will establish a ‘priority date’ for your invention, which is the date used for assessing the novelty and inventive/innovative step of your invention.
The provisional patent application lasts for 12 months, which is a useful period for deciding on whether to continue with the patenting process in Australia and elsewhere.
*Please note: a provisional patent application on its own does not provide any patent protection.
Options for pursuing patent protection in Australia and overseas
Within 12 months of filing the provisional patent application, you must decide how you would like to progress the patenting process. Applicants have two main pathways:
This pathway involves filing a patent application directly in each of the countries or regions of interest (including Australia).
The PCT application
This pathway involves filing an International (PCT) patent application. The advantage of the PCT pathway is that it provides you with at least an additional 18 months to decide on which countries or regions (including Australia) you wish to pursue patent protection. After filing the PCT application, a prior art (background) search will be performed and a preliminary non-binding opinion on the patentability of the invention will be provided. The PCT application must then be “nationalised” by filing a corresponding patent application in each of the countries or regions of interest (including Australia).
For more information regarding the PCT pathway, please visit the WIPO website and view the PCT Applicant’s Guide.
As noted above, regardless of which pathway (Direct or PCT) is taken, a separate patent application will need to be filed in each country or region of interest. Each patent application will then be examined according to the patent laws and regulations of the particular Patent Office in each country or region.