Annual Technical Report on Patent Information Activities in 2004 submitted by Australia (SCIT/ATR/PI/2004/AU)

Click here to print the ATR form.

The term "patent" covers utility models and Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs).

Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in their Annual Technical Reports on Industrial Design Information Activities.

I. Evolution of patent activities

  Changes experienced in terms of application filings and grants with respect to the previous year
  For 2003

Patent applications filed = 13940 Patents granted = 14150
PCT designations = 98121

For 2004

Patent applications filed = 14502 Patents granted = 13821
PCT designations = N/A (note all states were automatically designated for PCT filings from 01/01/2004).

Note: The above figures include Standard, Innovation & Provisional patents filed and granted.

  Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year
  PCT designations, international searches and preliminary examinations and Article 15(5) searches show a steady increase over the previous year.
II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, distribution and use of primary and secondary sources of patent information

  Publishing, printing, copying (main types of publications of the office in the field of patent information, etc.)
  The number of patent documents published in 2004 in the Australian Official Journal of Patents was:

* patent applications open to public inspection (AU-A) = 6955
* patent applications advertised accepted (AU-B) = 12679

  Mass storage media used (paper, microforms, optical storage, etc.)
  Australian patent specifications are published on CD-ROM and on IP Australia's web site. Patent specifications of Australian designated PCT applications are no longer being republished by IP Australia at the open for public inspection stage following their original publication by WIPO.

The Office continues to receive foreign patent specifications on CD-ROM and DVD. The following databases and information are available through the IP Australia internet site:


This database contains bibliographic information about innovation patent applications filed from 24 May 2001 and all new standard complete, provisional and innovation patent applications filed after the implementation of Patent Administration and Management System (PAMS) Release 2.1 on 5 July 2002. These applications have the number format CCYYNNNNNN where C=Century, Y=Year and N=application number. The 5th character also denotes application type i.e. 1 = Innovation, 9 = Provisional and any other number 2,3 etc = Standard Complete e.g. 2003100001 is an Innovation Patent filed in 2003. It also contains information about PCT applications which have designated Australia but which had not yet entered the National Phase when data migration from Patadmin into PAMS occurred in August 2002 and any subsequent designations up to 31 December 2003.

Patent Mainframe Databases

• Patent Administration System (PatAdmin)
contains bibliographic data in relation to existing patent applications that have been filed in Australia between January 1979 and the implementation of NPS Release 2.1 on 5 July 2002. In some cases, details of patents filed before January 1979 are also available. Note that a limited number of the data fields can be used for searches. This database does not contain details of any innovation patents and all new standard complete and provisional applications filed from 5 July 2002.

• Patent Indexing System (PatIndex)
contains Australian patent applications and patents contained within PatAdmin linked to one or more International Patent Classification marks.

AU Published Patent Data Searching

Abstracts of all published Australian patent applications filed since 1st January 1975 appear on APPS, except for patent applications and patents published by the New Patent Solution (NPS) system between 11 July 2002 and 31 July 2003 inclusive. Of these, the earlier applications will generally have an abstract prepared by Derwent Information Ltd.
Pre-1975 Australian applications going back to 1920 have some bibliographic data on APPS. Usually this is only the application number and IPC classification marks, and hence, this data is generally searchable only on these fields. IP Australia's State Offices in Australian capital cities have full copies of earlier specifications in paper/microfiche/rollfilm format which can be viewed without charge.
Using the Simple Search option, only the Application Number, Patent Number and words in the Title can be searched. Any number of Application Numbers or Patent Numbers separated by commas, can be retrieved at a time.
Data fields listed in the table below can be searched using the Advanced Search option. The data fields can be used either individually or in a logical combination, to retrieve the abstracts of relevant AU published patent data.

- Data Field -
Application Number
Patent Number
Title (supplied by applicant)
International Patent Classification (IPC)
Application Date
Publication Date
Publication Journal Date
Accepted Journal Date
Granted Journal Date
Certified Journal Date
Amended Journal Date
Corrigenda Journal Date
Applicant Name
Inventor Name
Attorney Name
WIPO Number
Document Kind

Published patent data on APPS will get updated weekly, one week after publication of the Australian Official Journal of Patents (AOJP). Note that there is no weekly publication during the Easter and Christmas period.

Patent specifications

AU-A, AU-B and AU-C information.
This site hosts Australian OPI (Open for Public Inspection), accepted and amended patent specifications in PDF format. This database contains:
• AU non-convention non-PCT available from 1975
• AU-A available from 17 December 1998 to present
• AU-B available from 17 December 1998 to present

  Word processing and office automation
  The Canberra Office has an ethernet-based LAN providing high speed bandwidth for each user desktop connection. A frame relay-based WAN provides connections from Canberra to each State Capital. A DMZ-based, DSD approved firewall using IAN ports (Internet IEFT Assigned Numbers) provides the secure means to allow access from internal systems/users to external entities such as the Internet or public/private organisations.

Current standard desktop software includes Windows XP with Office SE 2003, IE 6.0 SP1, and Lotus Notes.

  (New) techniques used for the generation of patent information (printing, recording, photocomposing, etc.)
  The Office's publication system is partially mainframe based. The mainframe provides the following functions using "XICS" typesetting software:
• production of camera ready copy of the Australian Official Journal of Patents;
• production of patent certificates and original register entries; and
• production of notices for patent applicants or their agents.

The other part of the Office's publication system is based on our strategic server infrastructure environment. This environment includes Sun Solaris, Oracle RDBMS, J2EE, BEA Weblogic, and Objective EDMS. The publication system provides the following functions:

• production of the Australian Official Journal of Patents as a pdf file. The journal is published on the web and is also printed (Production of the "hard copy" Official Journals will cease in January 2005);
• production of patent certificates and original register entries; and
• production of notices for patent applicants or their agents.
III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents

  Classification and reclassification activities; Classification system used, e.g., International Patent Classification (IPC), other classification (please indicate whether or not patent documents are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification is used)
  Patent applications are classified into the 7th edition of the International Patent Classification.

IP Australia no longer reclassifies Australian designated PCT applications at the open for public inspection stage.
IV. Search file establishment and upkeep
Full specifications of all non-PCT designated AU-A and AU-B patent specifications are available on CD-ROM and on the Internet, and are updated on a weekly basis. Complete sets of pre-1999 AU specifications are available in microfiche form.. Further detail of the search material available to the public is provided above and the documentation available at the State Offices is detailed below.
V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems
IP Australia has on-line filing facilities for patent applications which allows all new standard patent applications as well as innovation patent applications to be filed on-line. These on-line filings interface directly to IP Australia's electronic case file management system which allows these applications to be processed electronically. This system is referred to as 'PAMS'. Patsearch provides access to the bibliographic data held in PAMS.

IP Australia is currently finalising the design of a system to support business-to-business data exchange of patents, industrial designs and trade marks transactions with its high volume clients (Patents and Trade Mark Attorneys). This system will be consistent with WIPO electronic filing and National e-commerce standards.
VI. Administration of the industrial property office library and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, for assisting clients on searching procedures, for obtaining official publications and registry extracts)
The Customer Service Network (CSN) provides an easy central contact for customers to obtain information to support their decisions about a wide range of Intellectual Property issues. Customers contact the CSN via telephone, fax and email with around 90% of matters of a general nature solved at the first point of contact. The CSN provides face-to-face, phone, email and web-based assistance through State-based and Canberra Offices as well as general financial receipting and front end processing of attorney and private applicants' lodgements.

The State Offices:
• provide information about patents, trade marks and designs processes;
• maintain search facilities so customers can research Australian patents, trade marks and designs;
• receipt application forms and fees, providing a filing facility for IP documents in each state capital except Darwin;
• raise IP awareness and promote IP Australia's corporate image in their respective communities by providing general IP presentations, information sessions and tours of their facilities to interested groups, including tertiary students from designs, business and legal studies, engineering and library studies courses. They also liaise with other government agencies sharing the same customer base to promote our services and publications; and
• act as a referral point for enquiries on other IP areas eg copyright
The state Offices maintain the following facilities:

• a IP library of documents on paper, fiche, CD-roms, microfilms and online information for conducting intellectual property searches. Those customers otherwise without Internet access can use the Public Access Work Stations in our State Offices.
• the holdings vary between State Offices, but generally, all offices have a common set of search material as follows:

• Australian full text granted specifications in numeric order 1926-1978 (Roll film)
• Australian full text specifications (AU-A, AU-B, AU-C) 1975-1999 (Fiche)
• Patents concordance 5-6 figure (last edition 1999)

Official Journals

The complete set of Australian Official Journals for Patents (1905 to date) is also available in hard copy.

Production of the "hard copy" Official Journals will cease in January 2005 and will then only be available in electronic form, via the IP Australia web site.
VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information

  International or regional cooperation in the exchange of machine-readable information, e.g., bibliographic data, abstract and/or full text information
  IP Australia continues to supply data to EPIDOS for the INPADOC database in machine-readable form from the mainframe system. The supply of data from PAMS will be via CD-ROM.

  Medium used for exchange of priority documents
  Certified copies of Australian patent applications for use as priority documents in foreign applications are provided in paper form. Priority documents on which Australian applications are based are required in paper form.
VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries

  Assistance to developing countries (sending consultants and experts, receiving trainees from developing countries, etc.)
  IP Australia hosted a visit on 4 February by the Director General, Professor Abdul Bari Azed, and senior officials from the Indonesian Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights (DGIPR).

IP Australia hosted a two-week visit from Ms Finnie Quek, a hearing officer from the Intellectual Property Department of Hong Kong from 8 to 19 March 2004.

Dr Ian Heath Director General IP Australia and Mr Gary Kichenside Director Business Directions and International Cooperation attended and made presentation at the APEG IPEG in Beijing 20-21 April 2004. An OECD meeting taking place in Beijing at the same time was attended Dr Peter Tucker General Manager Business Development and Strategy.

Mr Shin, an examiner, from the Korean IP Office concluded his 6 month study visit to IP Australia. The main aspect of his study was a comparison of the AU & Korean patent systems with a focus on mutual recognition of examination results.

Dr Ian Heath, Director General, IP Australia attended the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation (JIII) 100th Anniversary Commemorative Ceremony and International Symposium in Tokyo 23-27 May 2004. Dr Heath will also be visiting with Deputy Commissioner Mr Shinjiro Ono of the Japanese Patent office. They will be discussing the exchange of information on patent issues, future cooperative activities and cooperation on technical assistance to developing countries.

On 17 May IP Australia hosted a visit by three examiners and two directors from the European Patent Office (EPO). The visit was to briefly look at IP Australia's Patent examination process with specific regard to International Patent Classification (IPC) classes B27 and B24.

On the 14 and 15 July 2004 IP Australia hosted a visit by Director General Jesper Kongstad and Deputy Director General Keld Nymann Jensen from the Danish Patent Office.

Director of Business Directions and International Cooperation Mr Gary Kichenside and Assistant Director Mr Peter Willimott undertook significant activities towards IP Australia's obligations with the APEC TILF Project #1. The project covered issues raised in Singapore, Vietnam and Philippines from 16-23 July 2004.

On 11th August 2004 IP Australia hosted a visit by eight Chinese delegates. The visit was lead by Mr Zhang Qin, Deputy Commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office from the People's Republic of China (SIPO). The main focus of the visit was understanding the basic IP system and organisational structure in Australia as well as financial management and budget systems and the IT infrastructure including search systems for both internal and external use within IP Australia.
IX. Other relevant matters

1.Classification is allotting one or more classification symbols (e.g., IPC symbols) to a patent application, either before or during search and examination, which symbols are then published with the patent application.
2.Preclassification is allotting an initial broad classification symbol (e.g., IPC class or subclass, or administrative unit) to a patent application, using human or automated means for internal administrative purposes (e.g., routing an application to the appropriate examiner).  Usually preclassification is applied by the administration of an office.
3.Reclassification is the reconsideration and usually the replacement of one or more previously allotted classification symbols to a patent document, following a revision and the entry into force of a new version of the Classification system (e.g., the IPC).  The new symbols are available on patent databases.

World Intellectual Property Organization

Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS)

Related Links

SCIT Archive