What types of Patents exist?

Patent rights must be lodged before you

use, trade, disclose or sell, or offer to sell the idea.

Fellow & Member of

The Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia

Introduction - What is a Patent Attorney?

Patent Attorneys have specialist qualifications different to Lawyers.

Patent Attorneys are required to have a specialist Patent Legal Degree that isn't part of the Law Degree PLUS a Technical Degree in Science, Engineering, or similar.

The Technical Degree allows additional strength (above personal experience and hobby's) in the inventor's field to better draft, amend, prosecute and advise on related Patent strategies to assist with commercial exploitation of the Invention.


As of 2018, there are four main Patent Types in Australia:

  • Provisional Patent (pending) - Lasts 12 months
  • Innovation Patent - Lasts 8 years.
  • Standard Patent - Lasts 20 years.
  • Pharmaceutical Patent - Lasts 25 years.
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Patent - Lasts 18 months.


It is highly likely that in 2018, the Australian Innovation Patent will be abolished, removing the ability for Inventors to protect more simple ideas.


Why Patents?

The Patent Act was developed to provide the Inventor with sufficient time to exploit their idea exclusively of rivals, so as to recoup their costs to research and develop the idea.

In return the Inventor is required to sufficiently disclose the Invention and how to make and run it.

Unfortunately many Inventors miss that the Patent MUST BE lodged BEFORE you disclose, sell, hire or otherwise exploit the invention, otherwise you generally forfeit in most countries your right to a Patent.


How to Patent your idea or invention?

Experienced Patent Attorneys generally assist inventors to ensure they choose the right type of patent at the right moment making it easy for inventors to commercialise without making critical Patent errors.

In particular Patent Attorneys ensure they meet the onerous list of requirements and deadlines.


What are the requirements for a Patent?

There are many requirements, the hardest to satisfy being worldwide novelty and inventiveness.

Other more difficult concepts which are essential to a Patent include sufficiency, manner of manufacture and fair basis.

The only way to have all requirements met is to study the legislation and the changing Court decisions on each of these requirements.


Discover More

Want to know more about the different forms of Intellectual Property, click here.

Our Patent Firm specialises and have practised for 31 years in Patents, Trademarks and Product Design monopoly rights.