Innovation patents

An innovation patent was a type of patent that protected an incremental advance on existing technology. This type of patent has now been phased out however, existing patent holders won't be disadvantaged.  

What was the innovation patent?

The innovation patent was a type of patent granted in Australia. It was created to provide protection for an invention with a short market life that might be superseded by newer innovations, such as computer-based inventions. This allowed Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to quickly develop and protect new innovations.

Innovation patents have an innovative step rather than an inventive step. An innovative step exists when the invention is different from what's already known, and that difference makes a substantial contribution to the working of the invention.

Why was it phased out?

Over time, the innovation patent didn't achieve the intended objective of supporting SMEs in the market.

The Australian Government began the process of phasing out the innovation patent in 2020, and the last day for filing was 25 August 2021.

To view previous consultations and outcomes on the phasing out of the innovation patent, visit the consultation hub.

How is my existing innovation patent impacted?

If you currently hold an innovation patent, you won't be disadvantaged. Existing innovation patents that were filed on or before 25 August 2021 (AEST) will continue in force until their expiry.

You can also:

  • Choose when you want to request certification
  • Convert a standard patent application to an innovation patent, if the standard application was filed on or before 25 August 2021 (AEST)
  • File a divisional innovation patent after 25 August 2021, if the parent application for the divisional was filed on or before 25 August 2021 (AEST).
Manage via online services

Seek professional advice

If you want to convert your standard patent application to pursue an innovation patent, you should consider seeking professional legal advice. 

Engage an IP attorney