Australian Patent Examination Reports Issuing Faster Than Expected in Some Technology Areas

Prior to commencement of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012, which came into effect in April 2013, the Australian Patent Office was inundated with requests for examination from applicants wishing to have their applications examined under the current law.

This flood of examination requests led the Patent Office to last year advise that first examination reports would likely issue, on average, about 19 months after examination is requested. We have recently been advised by the Patent Office that the backlog of applications awaiting examination is starting to clear and that examination reports are now issuing, on average, about 16 months after examination is requested.In the physics/electrical technology areas, in particular, we have surprisingly seen examination reports issue only two months after the filing of a request for examination. We are, however, yet to observe any reduction in turnaround times for patent applications in the key technology areas of mechanical, biotechnology and chemistry, where examination reports are typically issuing about 18 months after the filing of a request for examination.

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