As we wrote in our article earlier this year, the last day for applicants to file new, non-divisional applications for innovation patents was 25 August 2021. However, that is not necessarily the end of new innovation patent filings.
New innovation patent applications can still be filed after 25 August 2021 if they are based on complete applications filed prior to 26 August 2021 (i.e. having an effective filing date earlier than 26 August 2021) either in the form of a divisional application or by converting a pending standard patent application. This includes the ability to file innovation patent applications from Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications filed before 26 August 2021, either by filing a standard patent application as a national phase entry and converting to an innovation patent application or by filing an innovation patent application as a divisional application of the PCT application to preserve the right to file a standard national phase application from the PCT application.
It is also possible to file a divisional innovation patent application from a pending standard patent application with added subject matter. This stategy coud be utilised to protect improved versions of the invention that is the subject of the standard patent application. This mechanism is somewhat similar to the continuation-in-part available in the United States.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the changes to the Australian innovation patent system and how you may take advantage of the ability to file applications for innovation patents after 26 August 2021.