Australia: Zero sum game? Australian Patent Office fee changes

Last Updated: 2 September 2016
Article by Andrew Lowe and Russell Davies

From 10 October 2016, some official fees will be reduced or eliminated while other fees have been increased for all Australian patents and patent applications.

Executive Summary

  • From 10 October 2016, new official fee changes will take effect for all Australian patents and patent applications.
  • International-type search fees have been reduced by more than 50%
  • Some opposition fees have been abolished.
  • Renewal fees from the 10th year anniversary onwards have been increased.
  • Fees for the provision of documents have been simplified.

The Australian Patent Office has recently undertaken review of its fee structure and has now implemented several changes that will be of some benefit to applicants and other users of the patent system.

Fees going down

First, the good news for applicants. The official fee for conducting an international type prior art search on an Australian patent application has been reduced from AUD 2,200 to AUD 950. This reduction of over 50% should provide some financial relief to SMEs looking to obtain an initial assessment of the merit of their patent applications.

Also, some official fees relating to making submissions during opposition have been abolished. However, the abolished official fees are limited to the following actions:

  • A request for dismissal of an opposition;
  • A request to be heard in relation to amendments made to the Notice of Opposition;
  • A request to be heard in relation to a transfer of the rights in an opposition to a new opponent;
  • A request to be heard in relation to amendments to the Statement of Grounds and Particulars; and
  • A request for the Commissioner to exercise her discretionary powers.

While any reduction or elimination of official fees is welcome, it should be noted that the above actions are not that common in oppositions and hence this represents only a relatively modest saving to costs that are typically incurred in the opposition process.

Fees going up

On the other hand, the annual renewal fees for patents and patent applications from the 10th year anniversary onwards will increase. Renewal fees for the 10th to 14th year anniversaries will increase by AUD 50 per year and renewal fees for the 15th to 19th year anniversaries will increase by AUD 130 per year. For patents having the benefit of an extension of term, the renewal fees for the 20th to 24th year anniversaries will increase by AUD 250 per year.

The increase in renewal fees is at least modest in the 10th to 14th year anniversaries while the more substantial increases in renewal fees are only in the last 5 years of patent term and the extended patent term. It is pleasing that the renewal fees for the initial period of the first 10 years of patent terms have not been increased but will remain the same.

A different fee structure with possible cost savings

Finally, the fee structure for obtaining documents from IP Australia will be simplified. Previously, different official fees were incurred depending on which documents were obtained. For example, the official fee for obtaining a copy of a patent specification (AUD 50) was different to the official fee for obtaining six (6) or more documents from a file (AUD 200). In addition, some official fees were the same but were under a different category. For example, the official fee for obtaining a copy of non-patent literature was the same as the official fee for a certified copy of a document – AUD 50.

Under the fee structure changes, there will be now a single official fee of AUD 50 per document for obtaining up to three documents, irrespective of what type of document is obtained. For four or more documents, there is a single official fee of AUD 200. It would seem that this second official fee is capped, irrespective of the number of documents sought. This simplified fee structure should increase administrative efficiency for applicants and other users of the patent system, and the capped official fee for more than three documents should further reduce costs for users seeking to access patent information.


The fee changes that will come into effect on 10 October 2016 should assist in reducing the costs involved with using the Australian patent system. Where possible, it is recommended that clients, applicants and other users of the patent system delay any actions falling within the scope of the reduced or eliminated fees until 10 October 2016. However, any renewal fees in the relevant period should be paid prior to 10 October 2016 to avoid the increases in official renewal fees.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Shelston IP ranked one of Australia's leading Intellectual Property firms in 2015.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Andrew Lowe
Russell Davies
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.