Annual Technical Report on Patent Information Activities in 2007 submitted by Australia (SCIT/ATR/PI/2007/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
  2006:
Patent applications filed = 25449
Patents granted = 9523
PCT designations = N/A*

2007:
Patent applications filed = 26744
Patents granted = 11657
PCT designations = N/A*
*(note all states were automatically designated for PCT filings from 1 January 2004)
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 2007 in the Australian Official Journal of Patents (AJOP) was:

* patent applications open to public inspection (AU-A) = 7261
* patent applications advertised accepted (AU-B) = 11873

Note: the AU-A figure includes standard patent, and innovation patents made open to public inspection (OPI) either pre-grant or at grant. The AU-B figure includes standard patent and innovation patent certifications.

  Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of patent information
  Official notices and changes to office procedures are done through the AOJP.

These Official notices, and many other patent related notices, are also put directly on the IP Australia Internet site under the Patent notices section.

  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 republished by IP Australia at the OPI 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:

Patsearch

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 the 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 where 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 have 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 (APPS)

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 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, 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 SP2 with Office SE 2003, IE 6.0, and Lotus Notes.

  (New) techniques used for the generation of patent information (printing, recording, photocomposing, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), etc.)
  The Office's publication system is predominately 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 AOJP as a pdf file. The journal is published on the web;
• 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 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.

  URLs of web pages of the Office's website that provide access to online publication of patent documents and gazettes, and to other primary and secondary sources of patent information, including patent publication servers and download of bulk patent data
  The supplement to the Australian Official Journal of Patents may be found at:

http://pericles.ipaustralia.gov.au/ols/epublish/content/olsEpublications.jsp#
III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents

   Abstracting, reviewing, translating
  Examiners redraft applicant prepared abstracts of non-PCT national applications when they are found to be deficient to an extent that they are unable to fulfil their function. The abstracts of PCT national phase applications are not reviewed as these have been thoroughly evaluated in the international phase.

  Classification1, preclassification2 (if applicable), and reclassification3 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 latest edition of the International Patent Classification. As of 1 January 2006, IP Australia implemented the use of IPC 8 (reformed).

IP Australia no longer reclassifies Australian designated PCT applications at the open for public inspection stage.
IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

  File building
  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.

  Updating
  See "File building" above

  Storage, including mass storage media
  See "File building" above
V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems

  In-house systems (online/offline)
  IP Australia has on-line filing facilities for patent applications which allow all new standard patent applications, as well as innovation patent applications, to be filed electronically. These on-line filings interface directly to IP Australia's electronic case file management system, PAMS, which allows these applications to be processed electronically. Patsearch provides access to the bibliographic data held in PAMS.

IP Australia has developed a system to support business-to-business (B2B) data exchange of National Phase Entry Patent applications with its high volume clients (Patent Attorneys). This system will be expanded in the future to accept other service request types and is consistent with WIPO electronic filing and National e-commerce standards.

  External databases
  IP Australia uses commercial databases on patents and technical literature through, for example, Questel-Orbit, STN and DIALOG, as well as general databases available over the Internet.

  Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics and administrative support)
  See "In house systems" and "Mass storage media used" above.
VI. Administration of the industrial property office library, and information products 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)
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:
• an 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:

Patents
• 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 AOJP (1905 to date) is also available in hard copy.

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

  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.

  Medium allowed for filing applications
  Although filing is mainly in paper form, 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 electronically.
VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries (please indicate URLs of web pages of the Office's website wherever appropriate)

  Training courses for national and foreign participants, use of audiovisual means
  IP Australia worked jointly with WIPO to host a workshop titiled "How to Enhance Intellectual Property Competitiveness in Select Industries in ASEAN". The workshop was held in Cambodia from 5-6 November. The focus of this activity was to enhance the ability of Chamber of Commerce organisations and IP offices within the ASEAN to improve the understanding of IPR issues among their members.

  Assistance to developing countries (sending consultants and experts, receiving trainees from developing countries, etc.)
  • In 2007-08 IP Australia provided training for four senior patent examiners from the Malaysian Intellectual Property Corporation (MyIPO). The focus of this training was to enhance the expertise and understanding of the MyIPO examiners in efficient search and examination of biotechnology related applications, so they in turn could up-skill other MyIPO examiners to more effectively and expeditiously reduce its biotechnology backlog.

• IP Australia hosted six people from developing countries for a three month leadership training program. The aim of the program was to enhance management and leadership capability in Asian IP offices through training and mentoring mid to senior level officials.

• IP Australia, with the IP offices of Singapore and Hong Kong, implemented part of a four year APEC-funded project which aims to enhance the public education and awareness skills and resources of all APEC Member Economies.

  Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)
  Some of IP Australia's promotional activities included:
• Holding a successful seminars series in capital cities about the Chinese IP systems. The target audience was Australian companies thinking conducting of business in China. The objective was to increase businesses understanding of the administration and enforcement of IP in China.
• Hosting an APEC 2007 symposium, Trading Ideas - The Future of IP in Asia-Pacific. Speakers from around the region provided unique insights into the IP challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region and broader international community. Approximately 500 delegates representing Australian business, the IP professionals, governments from around the region, universities and research centres attended the event. Over 30 countries were represented at the event.
• Promoted the theme of IP at a major floral festival which attracted over 370,000 people.
• Participation in a number of national small business summits and conferences.
• IP Australia organised a number of initiatives for World IP Day, including: promotional activities on major national television and radio networks; an on-line forum; and events at all State Offices which attracted over 1000 people.
• IP Australia launched Fashion Rules, a guide to intellectual property (IP) for Australia's clothing and fashion design industry.
IX. Other general information related to the Office that is available on the Internet -- URLs of web pages of the Office's website that:

  provide information on legislation related to patents
  http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/resources/legislation_index.shtml

  contain the Annual Report of the Office
  
http://www.innovation.gov.au/Pages/A2ZIndex.aspx?keyword=annual%20reports

  contain patent-related news regarding the Office
  http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/resources/news_index.shtml
X. 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)

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