IP Australia – the governmental agency responsible for patents, trade marks, registered designs and plant breeder’s rights – has announced increases to most official fees.
The official fee increases can be minimised by using the soon-to-be-introduced electronic filing gateway. We will not be increasing our corresponding professional fees.
There is, though, a significant new official patent fee: a fourth anniversary renewal fee. In other words, renewal fees for Australian standard patent applications become payable a year sooner.
The new fourth anniversary fee comes into force on 1 July 2012. The new fee will apply to:
- Standard patent applications or granted standard patents having an Australian filing date of 1 July 2008, or later. The Australian filing date is the International Filing Date where the Australian application or patent came about through the PCT system.
- Divisional applications whose earliest parent application has an Australian filing date of 1 July 2008, or later.
Importantly, the new renewal fee can not be paid ‘early’. By way of example, for an application filed in Australia on 3 July 2008, the first renewal fee is due on 3 July 2012 but can only be paid on either 2 or 3 July 2012 (since 1 July falls on a Sunday this year) without needing to pay monthly extension of time official fees. Any payment attempted on 30 June or earlier will be rejected by IP Australia.
We will be contacting individual clients for whom we are handling cases affected by this change.