IP Australia has recently undertaken a review of their official fees resulting in a new official fee structure from 10 October 2016. These fee amendments will affect individuals and businesses seeking to protect their registrable IP rights in Australia from 10 October 2016 onwards. The rationale behind these fee amendments is part of IP Australia’s innovation policy to support start-ups and SMEs secure IP rights by providing an lower fee base for the early stages of seeking IP rights protection and offset these costs at a later stage when the IP rights have increased in value for the applicant as its commercial endeavours mature.

The official update can be found on IP Australia’s website at: https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/about-us/news-and-community/official-notice/ip-australia-fee-review-update-fee-changes-confirmed

The most significant changes are outlined below:

1. Filing and Registration Fees

  • Trade Marks: Under the new structure, applicants will pay an increased fee of $130 per class when applying for a trade mark although the Madrid protocol designation fee will reduce from $420 to $350 per class. If the trade mark complies with all the necessary requirements, it will be advertised as accepted and be subject to the usual two month opposition period. If no opposition is recorded, the trade mark will automatically be registered without the applicant having to pay the current $300 registration fee. Basically, the combined effect of the above changes will be to reduce the combined filing and registration fee for a trade mark from $500 per class to $330.
  • Patents: While no changes to patent filing or acceptance fees will be implemented, the current $2,200 official fee for requesting an International Type Search in respect of an Australian provisional patent application will be reduced to $950.

2. Opposition Fees

  • Trade Marks: There will no longer be an official fee for filing a Notice of Intention to Oppose removal/cessation of protection of a trade mark for non-use.
  • Patents: Certain official fees for patent oppositions will be removed including filing a request to dismiss an opposition.

3. Renewal Fees

  • Trade Marks: Renewal fees (due every 10 years) will increase from $300 to $400 per class.
  • Patents: Renewal fees will increase from the 10 year anniversary onwards, by $50 for the 10th to 14th anniversaries, by $130 for the 15th to 19th anniversaries and by $250 for each year of a pharmaceutical patent term extension.