Under the Australian Patents Act, fees are payable for filing a request for examination. However, in view of the recent global financial crisis and of the large number of patent applications being abandoned after a request for examination has been filed, IP Australia is now prepared to exempt the whole of the examination fee for certain applications.
In this respect, IP Australia provides notice that where:
- a request for examination in relation to an application for a standard patent has been made;
- examination of the application has not commenced; and
- the applicant files a notice withdrawing the request for examination on or before 30 June 2010
any examination fee payable will be waived and, where appropriate, the examination fee refunded. A waiver will be available on the same basis if the notice is for withdrawal of the application.
Any notice filed should clearly indicate that it is for withdrawal of the request for examination (or of the application) and identify the number(s) of the applications concerned, and must be signed by the applicant. It should be noted that the effect of withdrawing a request for examination will in most cases result in the immediate lapsing of the application.