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iwishihad is not responsible for any damages incurred by third parties using the information disclosed herein. This information is given in good faith and in the belief it may be helpful to those requiring the disclosed information. Patent Law is extremely complex and can ONLY be adjudicated by The Law.

For a more thorough explanation of Australian Patent requirements iwishihad recommends that a visit be undertaken to the Australian Patent Office (AIPO)and the relevant documentation downloaded. The documents there are excellent and AIPO staff are even more excellent in the help they provide to individuals.

With the advent of the 'ISIG' ('Innovation -- unlocking the future') Report this help may be even better since the realisation that Australia needs ideas and innovations has suddenly matured. The Government Implementation Policy will also provide information on what help is to be provided. The IAP report can be downloaded from the previous link.

Presumably, one recommendation of the ISIG Report would be some financial help for the inventor with limited finance. After reading it you can judge this.



There are various forms of Patents (Intellectual Property -- 'IP') in Australia giving protection to inventions. A lot of work has to be done before a Patent Application is "Granted" or "Sealed". It is possible for an individual to undertake the work providing the individual follows the rules outlined within the AIPO documents and has a grasp of the English Language. The latter is the most difficult as it is extremely hard to translate "what" an invention "is" to words and pictures, especially in 'Patent jargon.'

An 'Idea':

  • Cannot (normally) be patented unless it is so obvious to anyone that it's construction needs no detailed explanation.

A PROVISIONAL Patent Application lasts for one year:

  • It will cost @ $280 (Including GST) and not give any idea of "Prior Art" (if someone else has invented it.) It establishes the inventor (possibly) since it gives "Priority" from the date of submission but doesn't protect the invention. Upon lodgment there is one year to formalise the Provisional into the COMPLETE PATENT.

A PETTY PATENT Application is, unfortunately, NOW OBSOLETE.

  • Historical: An Australian-only Patent. This will cost $280 (including GST), will only last for one year but can be extended to six years (at extra cost). It has the advantage that an UNREQUESTED SEARCH will be performed allowing realisation that other Patents pre-date the submission. This Search is EXTREMELY important in selling the Patent or funding the task of turning the invention to Product. One has 12 months to find help in commercialising the invention before this route is sealed.


  • It attracts yearly renewal payments and doesn't provide the 'Search' facility which the Petty Patent did, unless a search is requested at extra cost. It could be alleged this is a retrograde step (on the Petty) which evolved from an analysis of submitted Patents based upon 'volume' and not 'quality', in order to get the 'score' improved. Presumably AIPO caters for this type of Patent now.

The INNOVATION PATENT route maybe attractive for the following reasons:

  • It gives Priority from the date of submission. (As does the Provisional.)
  • A REQUESTED search is undertaken for "Prior Art" (not so with the Provisional Application.)
  • This search is limited to Australian Patents but often International Patents will be cited as 'Prior Art'.
  • It costs less than the Provisional + Complete Patent.
  • It can be expanded prior to being Granted (becoming unchangeable) - within the 3 months it takes for the Granting.
  • It gives 3 months to find someone interested in helping commercialise the invention, turning it into a Complete Patent or an International one or finding a buyer for the Patent.

The INNOVATION PATENT route maybe less attractive for the following reasons:

  • A REQUEST for a search has to be made.
  • This costs extra over and above the application fee.
  • It gives only 3 months to find someone interested in commercialising your invention, turning it into a Complete or International Patent or buying the invention.


  • Should this route be chosen, it is wise, if the invention is that unique, to engage a Patent Attorney to undertake the Complete Application. Cost will vary but be far greater than using the INNOVATION PATENT.


  • When a Patent is granted, (SEALED) it's a reasonable indication of it's viability since the invention was unique -- A SEARCH HAS PRODUCED NO PRIOR ART.
  • This should be even more attractive in getting further help and investment.


  • Realise that "ideas" are "ten-a-penny" in the eyes of an investor.
  • The astute investor wants to know WHAT is YOUR investment in the deal?
  • The investor will not accept 'your 'idea' as an investment.
  • The investor has got $$$ by whatever sacrifices made on the path.
  • YOU must demonstrate a similar path.
  • Else the investor will see you as a beggar plying by the kerbstone.
  • The investor will lose $$$$, should your invention fail.
  • What will you lose?

Some useful LINKS.


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