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By August 1, 2013IP Insights

Australian innovation patents are useful for protecting inventions which are incremental advances over existing technology.  An innovation patent is also useful for protecting an invention with a short commercial life that might be quickly superseded by newer innovations.

An Australian innovation patent lasts for up to eight years.  It has a lower threshold for validity than an Australian standard patent, requiring an innovative step rather than an inventive step.  It is therefore suitable for protection of inventions that do not meet the higher hurdle of inventive step as required for standard patents. 

Subject matter that is protectable by an Australian standard patent is also protectable by an innovation patent, with the exception that an innovation patent cannot be granted in respect of an animal or plant per se. 

An innovation patent is a relatively quick and inexpensive way to obtain a granted patent for an invention.  An innovation patent application undergoes a formalities examination and is usually granted within a month of filing. 

It is not necessary to have an innovation patent examined.  Costs associated with examination can therefore be avoided unless it becomes necessary to enforce the patent.  However, an innovation patent must be examined and certified before it can be enforced.  After examination and certification have taken place, an innovation patent can be enforced against an infringer.  An innovation patent provides the same relief against infringement as a standard patent.

An application for an innovation patent can be filed directly with the Australian Patent Office.  An innovation patent can also be derived from a PCT application by conversion after it has entered the national phase in Australia as a standard patent.  An innovation patent can also be filed as a divisional application from a standard patent application.

If you require further information regarding innovation patents, or you require assistance in obtaining protection in Australia, please contact Wynnes by email (, visit our website ( and send us a message via the contacts section, or call us on +61 7 3399 4625.


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