Patent for invention
An Australian patent is granted by the Commonwealth Government for an invention. The effect of a patent is a monopoly that is bestowed upon the patentee by the Commonwealth for a limited time in exchange for adding the novel and inventive aspects of the patented invention to the accumulated knowledge of mankind. When the term of the patent has expired, or if the patentee allows the patent to lapse, then the novel and inventive aspects of the invention are then free for everyone to use.
In Australia, there are currently two categories of patents:
- Standard Patent
- Innovation Patent
A standard patent protects an invention for a maximum term of 20 years for a non-pharmaceutical related invention. An innovation patent protects on invention for a maximum term of 8 years.
There is no restriction on the number of claims that may be associated with a standard patent, however the maximum number of claims in an innovation patent may only have up to a maximum of 5 claims.
All standard patents must be formally examined by IP Australia prior to grant to ascertain, among other things, that the disclosure in the patent specification is both novel and contains an inventive step, when compared to the prior art. With innovation patents, no pre-grant examination takes place. So long as the innovation patent meets certain formalities requirements that are set down by IP Australia, then the innovation patent will be granted, without ascertaining first, via examination, if the subject matter in the innovation patent specification is novel and contains an innovative step when compared to the prior art.
Further information regarding patents for inventions may be obtained by following the following link: https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/patents/understanding-patents/patent-basics