Insights

IP Australia: Business continuity during COVID-19

Corporate

IP Australia is publishing regular updates in relation to the continuity of its services during COVID-19. To date, the updates include information on the following topics:

  • hearings
  • corresponding with IP Australia
  • filing documents and making payments
  • extensions of time for patents, trademarks and designs; and
  • plant breeder's rights applications

Hearings

IP Australia is now conducting hearings via video conference, telephone or written submission. For parties who have scheduled face-to-face hearings, IP Australia will contact you regarding these options.

Corresponding with IP Australia

Correspondence from IP Australia can now be delivered digitally through IP Australia's online eServices platform (accessible here). If postal services in your location have been interrupted due to COVID-19, it is important you register via eServices to receive correspondence digitally. This will ensure that you continue to receive all relevant and important correspondence from IP Australia.

Filing documents and making payments

As of 1 April 2020, IP Australia stopped accepting documents and payments in person. All filing of documents and payments must now be completed through IP Australia's eServices platform.

Extensions of time

Until 31 August 2020, customers can request a streamlined extension of time of up to three months in relation to most patent, trade mark and design deadlines through IP Australia's eServices platform (accessible here). The extension is free of charge and there is no need to provide any written explanation in relation to the request. IP Australia is regularly reviewing the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and will assess whether streamlined extensions will be continued beyond the current deadline.

Plant breeder's rights (PRB)

Until further notice, PRB examiners will not be visiting field trials to undertake on-site examinations. In relation to field trials that may be ready for examination in 2020, you are advised by IP Australia to contact the PRB office to discuss possible alternative options.

Please contact Robert Neely or Lisa Fitzgerald from our Corporate team to discuss the latest updates from IP Australia.

To keep up to date with the changes to IP Australia's services, we recommend regularly checking the IP Australia website (accessible here).

Thank you to Juliana Hasham for drafting this update.

Our team is actively monitoring and considering the implications of legal and regulatory developments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find our COVID-19 collection here.

All information on this site is of a general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon as, nor to be a substitute for, specific legal professional advice. No responsibility for the loss occasioned to any person acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material published can be accepted.