IP Australia provides support during COVID-19 ​

key points

 
  • Customers impacted by COVID-19 can extend deadlines relating to their patent, trade mark and design rights.

  • Deadlines can be extended by up to three months, free of charge.

  • However, these extensions do not apply to renewal fee payments.

  • The free deadline extensions are available until at least 31 May 2020.

IP Australia extends a helping hand

IP Australia is the government agency responsible for administering intellectual property rights in Australia, and includes the Australian Patent Office, Trade Marks Office and Designs Office.

As users of IP systems will know, applying for intellectual property rights involves contending with critical deadlines which, if missed, can result in the disastrous lapsing of IP rights. Additionally, meeting these deadlines often means paying fees to IP Australia. 

Given the current economic standstill, many businesses may struggle to meet their intellectual property deadlines and risk forfeiting the exclusive ownership of their creations. 

IP Australia doesn’t want to see this happen.

Fee-free extensions of time

IP Australia has unveiled a streamlined online process for customers to extend various deadlines associated with their patent, trade mark and design rights.

Customers simply need to submit an extension of time request through IP Australia’s eServices, and elect that the extension is due to “circumstances beyond the control of the person”.

IP Australia has even provided this helpful standard text for customers to upload when prompted to provide an online declaration.

Deadlines can be extended for up to three months, and can be requested up until at least 31 May 2020.

Importantly however, these free extensions do not apply to renewal fee deadlines. So if you have a renewal fee coming up, make sure it is paid on time to ensure your IP right doesn’t lapse.

Otherwise, it’s business as usual​

Even before COVID-19 struck, IP Australia had systems in place to allow staff to work from home and outside of regular business hours. 

As such, many of IP Australia’s services and systems are still functioning, and its online eServices remains available 24/7. 

New applications for patents, trade marks and designs are still being processed, and the examination of applications is being conducted as per normal. 

IP Australia’s databases of patentstrade marks and designs also remain available for searching once you’ve exhausted all other forms of entertainment during isolation.

Of course, if you want to discuss how to best manage your intellectual property portfolio at this time, just leave a message below, reach us at [email protected] or pick up the phone and call us on (03) 9595 3550. 

We’ll even Zoom with you if you don’t mind our improvised home offices and kids in the background!