Over the past few months if not years, applicants may have observed delays in the commencement of examination after filing their patent application in Australia.
These delays do not appear to be COVID-19 related. Rather, they appear to be a function of ordinary business operations. Gaining patent protection in Australia may have positive benefits to the applicant’s overall patent strategy, and therefore, applicants may be interested in utilising one of two options to “fast-track” patent examination at IP Australia. These options are: (1) expedited examination; and (2) accelerated examination.
Examination of applications may be expedited where there are special circumstances requiring an expedited process (such as commercial reasons to receive grant). The cost of requesting expedited examination is the same as requesting standard examination. Where expedited examination is requested, IP Australia will generally issue an examination report within 8 weeks. It is also possible to submit voluntary amendments to the claims at this time.
Accelerated Examination via the GPPH
Alternatively, examination may be accelerated through the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) route, relying on an allowed or granted patent on a corresponding application in an approved country. The cost of requesting accelerated examination does not require an additional official fee. However, additional costs associated with the preparation of supporting documentation and proposed amendments to the claims will be incurred. IP Australia usually issues an examination report within 4 to 6 weeks.
If you would like to have your application examined sooner rather than later, please contact your patent attorney at Wrays.