Journal Article

The end of the patent duty of disclosure in Australia

Chris Bird and Anthony Selleck

in Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice

Volume 3, issue 7, pages 470-472
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 1747-1532
Published online May 2008 | e-ISSN: 1747-1540 | DOI:
The end of the patent duty of disclosure in Australia

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Legal context

Regulations issued under the Australian Patents Act 1990 (Cth) abolished, for all patent applications advertised as accepted on or after 22 July 2007, the requirement for applicants and patentees to file at the Australian Patent Office the results of documentary searches relating to the invention.

Key points

The requirement to file search results for applications advertised as accepted before 22 July 2007still remains. As the allowed time limit to take this step has now expired, applicants who seek to remedy a failure to disclose search results on time will need to apply for extensions of time, and to demonstrate that the failure was due to a genuine error or omission by the applicant or their attorney.

Practical significance

This article summarizes the changing duty of disclosure regime that has applied to patent applications pending before the Australian Patent Office between 1 April 2002 and 22 July 2007.

Keywords: In October 2007, regulations were introduced abolishing the ‘duty of disclosure’ for Australian patent applicants.; This change was due, at least in part, to the increasing availability on the internet of search results from the major overseas patent offices.; Applicants and their advisors should be aware that in situations where search results should previously have been disclosed to the Patent Office, but were not, sanctions still remain.

Journal Article.  1503 words. 

Subjects: Arbitration ; Intellectual Property Law

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