In what is a quite recent but unpublicised development, IP Australia now record “special” non-English characters (i.e. accented letters, umlauts, diaeresis and the like) for applicants and inventor names on new incoming patent applications.

Until recently, an inventor named, for example, Åsa or Björn in a PCT national phase entry designating Australia would be recorded as Asa or Bjorn. Now, in a national phase entry designating Australia, the inventors names will proceed as they were in the PCT (i.e. correctly) as Åsa or Björn.

Time will tell, but the special characters should also propagate through to acceptance notices and patent certificates.

It is also not clear if it will be possible to retrospectively “correct” applicant and inventor names for legacy cases but we will keep you informed of developments in that regard.