IP Australia 3 month extension of time - Covid-19

Date: 2020-05-15
Authors: Tracey Hendy & Robbie Boukarroum

IP Australia have recently implemented some new measures to provide additional relief for customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, having put in place a streamlined process for fee-free extension of time requests.

The following provides a summary of these new measures, which will be in place until at least 31 May 2020. This date may be extended.

  • An extension of time of up to three months is available free of charge (Official Notice) through a streamlined process (see frequently asked questions). 
  • Customers can submit a request for extension of time through eServices by simply ticking a box to make a declaration that you are unable to meet the deadline due to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, as is shown below:

  • No formal declaration document is required. That said, it is important to note that the above still amounts to a declaration which needs to be truthful.
  • These extensions of time include most actions for patents, trade marks, and designs, including filing deadlines.
  • Extensions continue to be available on a case-by-case basis for anything not covered by the streamlined extensions (where available under existing legislation).

Further information on IP Australia’s measures is available on the COVID page of their website.

Deadlines that streamlined extensions cannot be used for

It is important to note that IP Australia’s streamlined extension process does not apply to:

  • Renewals (note that the customary six month grace period is still available).
  • Applications for extension of the term of a patent.
  • All time periods in matters before the courts or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
  • WIPO deadlines where IP Australia is acting as Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Receiving Office (IP Australia in its capacity as an Office and Authority under the PCT also intends to follow the recommendations of WIPO contained in the recent interpretation of PCT Rule 82quater.1. Further information can be found on the WIPO website).

Watch our Physics and Engineering Principal, Tracey Hendy explain the streamlined extension provisions implemented by the Australian and New Zealand patent offices in view of COVID-19.

Tracey Hendy's interview with Targem Translations