If you have created something new and inventive, you can protect it from competitors by obtaining a patent on it. Inventions, processes, devices and methods can all be protected by a patent. As the owner of a patent, you have the exclusive legal right to market the patent and stop competitors from benefiting from your invention. There are three types of patents: a provisional patent, an innovation patent and a standard patent. Which type should you use?


You can apply for an innovation patent if your invention involves a new, useful and innovative step. Innovation patents can be granted for inventions where no inventive step can be shown. On the other hand, an inventive step is required for a standard patent. The process is much less demanding for an innovation patent in comparison to the process for applying for a standard patent.

There are two requirements for applying for an innovation patent:

  • Novelty –  the invention must be new, that is, it must not have been disclosed publicly in any form
  • Innovative step – An innovative step means that there is something different about the invention that was not known before. This difference must go directly to the way that the invention works.

What you need for the application

You will need to include in your application the following:

  • a title
  • a description
  • up to 5 claims
  • drawings ( if applicable)
  • an abstract
  • the relevant forms

If you already have a provisional patent, you will need to apply for an innovation patent within 12 months of the provisional patent filing date. This way you can benefit from the priority date of the provisional patent.


There is not a thorough examination of your patent application and into your invention itself. You will typically be notified within one month about whether your innovation patent has been granted.

IP Australia is usually checking to see whether the application has been filed appropriately, and not whether the patent itself is valid. If you want the patent to be enforceable, you will need to make sure it is examined.

Making the patent enforceable

The grant of the patent does not mean that your patent is enforceable. If you want it to be legally enforceable, you will have to request IP Australia to examine the innovation patent.

IP Australia will notify you that either your innovation patent has been successfully certified or that the patent does not meet the requirements under patent law for it to be certified


Certification of the innovation patent means that the patent is now legally enforceable. You can take action against those who are infringing your patent.

But be wary, once your patent is certified, your competitors may also start taking action trying to prove that your patent is invalid.


You will usually obtain the grant within one month of applying for the patent. If you request examination, the process will usually take six months. An innovation patent can protect you up to eight years, but you will have to make sure you pay the annual renewal fees.


Get in touch with the LegalVision intellectual property lawyers today for an initial quote and obligation-free consultation.

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