Patents are an important part of protecting inventions and helping companies protect valuable intellectual property. With the help of a patent attorney Brisbane, you can obtain patents that give you full control over new products and ideas, allowing you to maintain your competitive advantage. But the process of applying for patents is complex, and many inventors are concerned about the overall cost of patenting their invention in Australia.
The true cost will vary widely depending on the nature of the invention, but we’ve provided estimates below to help you figure out how much a patent costs in Australia.
Types of Patents in Australia
Australian IP law allows for several different categories of patents. Each category is designed to provide the best protection possible for inventions such as products, pharmaceuticals, business processes and more. Broadly speaking, all of these categories fall under the three key types of Australian patents:
- Provisional Patents. Provisional patents can be thought of as a placeholder for a full patent. A provisional patent is quick to obtain and can be used to establish that you invented a product before your competitors.
- Standard Patents. Standard patents are the type of protection that’s usually sought by inventors and companies. They provide 20 years of protection for inventive products registered in Australia, although they need to be renewed on a yearly basis.
- Innovation Patents. Innovation patents only required a product to have an “innovative” step, rather than inventive step. The Australian Government has begun the process of phasing out innovation patents. No new innovation patents can be filed after 25 August 2021.
The Cost of Australian Patents
The cost of obtaining an Australian patent varies widely. As a guide, you’re likely to pay between $4,000 – $7,000 to file a provisional patent application using an IP attorney. It’s likely to cost between $7,000 – $12,000 to file a standard patent application. How much you pay depends on a variety of factors, including:
- The type of invention
- The type of patent you’re applying for
- The complexity of the product
- Fees charged by your attorney
IP Australia doesn’t require the owner of an invention to file for a patent using an IP attorney. You can use IP Australia’s online services to apply for a patent on your own, and this process typically costs a few thousand dollars. But, the patent process is complex, and filing for a patent on your own can expose you to additional costs that come with failed applications, defending your claims and amending your patent. While it might cost more on paper, using a patent attorney ensures you get the best protection possible and protects you from hidden expenses in the long run.
Patent Renewal Fees
The cost of filing for your patent is usually spread over a period of months or years while the application is processed. The full amount will be paid in instalments, usually at the initial filing, when making amendments, upon examination and then again when it’s accepted.
Once that’s done and your patent is granted, you will need to pay a yearly renewal fee to maintain your protection. The first patent renewal fee is due on the fourth anniversary of filing the patent. Renewal fees increase each year thereafter until you reach the 20 year limit of a standard patent.
IP Australia’s current patent renewal fees are outlined below:
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Standard patents only provide 20 years of protection in Australia. Some special types of patents – like Pharmaceutical Patents – can provide up to 25 years of protection. Speak to your patent attorney Brisbane to find out more about how long your invention will be protected for.
International Patent Applications
Australian patents only provide protection for your invention within the country. If your company has an international presence or if you just want to obtain international patent protection, you’ll need to file for separate patents in each country. An Australian attorney will be able to help you obtain international patents, although the cost varies depending on the countries you’re filing in. You are likely to pay $7,000 – $12,000 to file patents in international jurisdictions such as the UK or USA.
Australia is also a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). This means it’s possible to obtain a patent in any of the 156 member countries relatively easily. Filing a PCT patent will cost slightly more up front, but it can save thousands if you plan on obtaining patents in multiple countries. Your patent attorney will be able to help you plan the best way to apply for international patents without breaking the bank.