Effective Date of Changes
The majority of fee changes will occur on 1 July 2012, with the exception of new application filing fees which will change from 1 October 2012.
Avoiding the Increase
Many of the changes involve fee increases. However, some increases can be avoided by arranging fee payments before 1 July 2012 (or before 1 October 2012 in the case of filing new applications).
By way of example, savings would be achieved by bringing forward to before 1 July 2012 payment of patent application examination and acceptance fees, trade mark registration fees, design registration examination fees, and renewal fees.
Where we receive instructions in time before these changeover dates we will ensure that the lower fees are paid and savings achieved.
Discounts are being offered on some official fees where paid through approved electronic channels.
We already have an established electronic business-to-business relationship with IP Australia, and will be taking advantage of those discounted fees as and where possible. Discount savings will be passed directly to our clients.
New Renewal on Standard Patents and Applications
The changes include the introduction of a fourth year renewal fee applicable to current standard patents and pending standard patent applications having an effective filing date on or after 1 July 2008.
For divisional patents and applications the effective filing date is the date of the parent patent or application. Therefore the new fee will apply to all those patents and applications whose fourth anniversary of their filing date is on or after 1 July 2012.
We have commenced advising our clients of this new renewal requirement as the due dates on their patents and applications approach.
This new fee has come at short notice, and so is unexpected and unbudgeted. We are therefore offering to attend to that renewal at a discounted service charge.
If you are uncertain whether this new fee is payable on any patent or application for which you are responsible then please contact us for clarification.