Australian Patent Office introduces fourth anniversary annuity

IP Australia, the Government body responsible for Intellectual Property in Australia, has announced changes in its official fees. Most fee increases are designed to encourage the use of an electronic filing gateway which is to be introduced by IP Australia in the near future.

As part of these fee changes, IP Australia has introduced a fourth anniversary annuity fee, resulting in annuities being payable on Australian standard patent applications and standard patents a year earlier than at present.

This new fee will come into force on 1 July 2012 and will apply to standard patent applications or standard patents having an effective filing date in Australia of 1 July 2008, or later. Divisional standard patent applications or patents whose earliest parent application has a filing date in Australia of 1 July 2008, or later will also have the new fee applied.

IP Australia has advised that the new fee cannot be paid earlier than 1 July 2012. Accordingly, any fourth anniversary annuity due close to 1 July 2012 will need to be paid promptly to avoid late fees.