2.2.1 Patent institutions
The Australian patent system is administered by the Australian Patent Office7 (which is responsible for the administrative aspects of the patent system, including filing, examination and pre-grant “opposition” proceedings) and the Federal Court of Australia.8
As noted above, Australia has recently abolished its second-tier “innovation” patent system, and applications for innovation patents ceased on August 26, 2021. The Australian Patent Office also facilitates the registration of overseas patent applications in Australia through the Paris Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
The Federal Court has jurisdiction to hear patent infringement, invalidity, entitlement and related disputes, together with appeals from the Australian Patent Office. It has jurisdiction in a number of other areas of law, including commercial and corporations laws, administrative law, industrial law, federal crime, admiralty and taxation. The Federal Court is located in the capital city of each state and territory, has a specialized panel of judges for patent matters and has a dedicated practice note for intellectual property matters, including patent disputes.9