For some time now, Watermark has best met our clients’ needs by sending most correspondence by email. In line with continuing expansion of IP Australia’s eServices web portal, the Patent Office is now set to send official letters electronically. After a pilot program next month, the Patent Office has tentatively scheduled a more general rollout for May.

We welcome the move, and expect it will help us to keep our clients apprised of the current state of their Australian patent portfolios.

Correspondence from IP Australia

An electronic option will be available for most correspondence in respect of most current patents and patent applications. Existing eServices customers will, by default, start receiving a daily email alerting them to any new official letters. The letters will be accessible via eServices as individual text-searchable PDF files.

Electronic letters relating to trade marks, designs and plant breeder’s rights are expected to follow.

Correspondence to IP Australia

IP Australia closed down its general email address, assist@ipaustralia.gov.au, last month, with customers encouraged to instead use the eServices portal. The different means by which customers may send a range of correspondence electronically to IP Australia remains somewhat complex, as set out in their Electronic Business Rules (shown towards the bottom of the linked page). Unsurprisingly, the most commonly available option is eServices.

Oppositions

IP Australia continues to use a third party website, Objective Connect, to facilitate sharing certain patent and trade mark opposition documents between parties.