The new fees will come into effect from 1 August 2010. Aside from some incremental increases in selected fees, the main changes are:
- an increase in the fee associated with a request for an extension of term of a pharmaceutical patent, from A$1300.00 to A$2000.00;
- an increase in international search fees, from A$1600.00 to A$1900.00;
- an increase in the fee for filing a provisional patent application on paper, and a new fee of A$80.00 (equivalent to the old paper filing fee) applied to electronic filings; and
- a new fee applicable to post-acceptance amendments that increase the number of claims, over the basic allowance of 20 claims, of A$100.00 per claim.
Notably, the post-acceptance excess claims fees will be payable upon allowance of the request to amend, rather than at the time of filing the request. Proposed amendments must be advertised for possible third-party opposition, and allowance of a request typically occurs a few months after filing. Currently-pending requests may therefore be subject to the new fees, if they are granted after 1 August 2010.
Further amendments to the Regulations have been made to:
- incorporate recent changes to the PCT Rules; and
- to enable search results provided under subsection 45(3) of the Patents Act 1990 that are associated with a PCT application to be made open to public inspection (OPI) when the PCT application is made OPI.
The IP Australia Official Notice of the amendments can be found here.