Annual Technical Report on Patent Information Activities in 2009 submitted by Australia (CWS/ATR/PI/2009/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
  2008:
Patent applications filed = 26536
Patents granted = 11835
PCT designations = N/A*

2009:
Patent applications filed = 23,658
Patents granted = 12,410
PCT designations = N/A*

*(note all states were automatically designated for PCT filings from 1 January 2004)

  Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year
  Due to global financial crisis, the number of Patent applications filed has decreased significantly (10.8%) as compared to 2008.

  URLs of web pages of the Office's website that provide statistics related to patents
  http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/about/statistics.shtml
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 2009 in the Australian Official Journal of Patents (AOJP) was:

* patent applications open to public inspection (AU-A) = 6820
* patent applications advertised accepted (AU-B) = 13055

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 acceptances 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 published in 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 the 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. IP Australia plans to republish these again from 2010.

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:

AusPat
This database contains bibliographic and status information about patent applications filed in Australia from January 1979. In some cases, details of patents filed before January 1979 are also available. AusPat also contains International Patent Classification information for the majority applications from 1920; IPC version 8 has been applied to applications filed from 1970.

AU Published Patent Data Searching
Abstracts of all published Australian patent applications filed since 1st January 1975 appear on APPS.

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.

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.

Published patent data on APPS is 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.
• AU-C available from 17 December 1998 to present.

  Word processing and office automation
  Current standard desktop software includes Microsoft Windows XP SP3 with Microsoft Office 2003.

  (New) techniques used for the generation of patent information (printing, recording, photocomposing, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), etc.)
  The Office's publication system provides the following functions:
• production of the AOJP Supplement as a PDF file. The Supplement covers applications from 2002. The journal is published on IP Australia's website;
• 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 and produces:
• PDF file of the Australian Official Journal of Patents. This covers applications/patents up to 2002;
• patent certificates and original register entries; and
• 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 Mimosa CD-ROMs and on the Internet.

  Updating
  Updates to the Mimosa CD-ROMs and Internet information about all non-PCT designated AU-A and AU-B patent specifications occur on a weekly basis.

  Storage, including mass storage media
  See Section 2 'Mass storage media and microforms used' for this information.
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. The AusPat search system provides access to the bibliographic data held in PAMS.

  External databases
  IP Australia uses commercial databases on patents and technical literature through, for example, EPOQUE.Net, EPODOC, WPI, 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 Section 5 'In-house systems' and Section 2 'Mass storage media and microforms used' for this information.

  Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), carriers used
  IP Australia's head Office has an ethernet-based LAN providing high speed bandwidth for each user desktop connection. 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.

The current SOE includes Windows XP SP3 with Office SE 2003 , IE 8.0 , and Lotus Notes.
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)

  Planning, administration, automation, security, buildings
  IP Australia's Customer Service Delivery (CSD) section provides a central contact for customers to obtain information to support their decisions about a wide range of Intellectual Property issues. Customers contact the CSD via telephone, fax and email with around 95% of matters of a general nature solved at the first point of contact. The CSD provides face-to-face, phone, email and web-based assistance through a central office in Canberra .

Increasingly, IP Australia is using its web site as a means of providing an alternative means of public access to these services. Patents can be searched by external clients via AusPat.

  Collection management, preservation
  All Australian Patents records/documents are handled in accordance with Office procedures set down under Australian Law and archiving practices.

  Information services available to the public (including computerized services and search files contained in libraries remote from your Office and patent information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web)
  Information services are available on the IP Australia website.
http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/

  URLs of web pages of the Office's website for electronic filing of patent applications
  https://pericles.ipaustralia.gov.au/ols/ecentre/content/olsHome.jsp

  URLs of web pages of the Office's website that provide information on business procedures such as: filing, publication, examination and grant procedures related to patents; opposition and appeal procedures related to patents; etc.
  General information
http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/patents/index.shtml

Publications and forms
http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/resources/forms_patents.shtml

Examiners Manual
http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/pdfs/patentsmanual/WebHelp/Patent_Examiners_Manual.htm

  URLs of web pages of the Office's website that provide a description of information products and services offered by the Office (e.g., patent search service(s) and patent databases), as well as information on how to access and utilize them
  http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/resources/index.shtml
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
  Full specifications of all non-PCT designated AU-A and AU-B patent specifications are available on Mimosa CD-ROMs and on the Internet, and are updated on a weekly basis. IP Australia distributes the CD-ROMs to a number of other IP Offices.

  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. Priority documents can also be provided in electronic form using the WIPO DAS service.

  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
  Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Public Education & Awareness Event
IP Australia delivered the 3 day APEC workshop entitled Conducting Effective IP Rights Public Education and Awareness Campaigns for SMEs.
The event was designed for IPR offices throughout the APEC region, APEC Intellectual Property Rights Experts' Group (IPEG) members, APEC SME working group members, innovators and IP related organizations, private sector representatives and SMEs.

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Public Education & Awareness Event
IP Australia delivered the 3 day APEC workshop entitled Conducting Effective IP Rights Public Education and Awareness Campaigns for SMEs.
The event was designed for IPR offices throughout the APEC region, APEC Intellectual Property Experts' Group (IPEG) members, APEC SME working group members, innovators and IP related organizations, private sector representatives and SMEs.

  Assistance to developing countries (sending consultants and experts, receiving trainees from developing countries, etc.)
  Four Thai patent examiners attended 2 week placement for Patent Examination Training Program on Nano-technology and Bio-technology.

IP Australia provided the following assistance to IP officials in Viet Nam:
• hosted a 7 day IP study tour for 13 staff from the National Office of Intellectual Property of Viet Nam.

• provided training to Viet Nam officials on the development and implementation of public education and awareness programs.

• provided training and resources to university lecturers on the development and delivery of IP courses.

• provided technical publications to the National Office of Intellectual Property library.

• hosted a workshop on cost recovery, demand forecasting and IP Australia's approach to self funding.

• provided Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) equipment for Plant Variety Rights testing.

  Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)
  Key promotional activities in 2009:

Vocational Education and Training (VET)
IP Australia developed a range of courses on IP rights management and commercialisation. In January 2009 the courses were officially approved and published as a part of the Australian National Training Information System.

Nationally approved Registered Training Organisations may deliver these courses.

SME's
IP Australia's Smart Start business tool for SME's was enhanced to address the needs of businesses that have a greater understanding of Intellectual Property and IP strategies.

IP Australia and Business Enterprise Centres Australia
IP Australia sponsored a nationwide seminar series in association with Australia's Innovation Festival entitled ‘10 Steps to making money from Smart Ideas'.

IP Australia also sponsored the National Small Business Development Conference in November 2009. Business advisors were trained/educated in developing IP Strategies.

World IP Day
IP Australia coordinated a national online advertising campaign in the week leading up to World IP Day. The advertising targeted SME's and directed them to the Smart Start website. Visitation levels during this period increased by more than 100%.

State Office Events
There were a total of 83 events undertaken in 2009 by the State Outreach Managers. These events targeted a wide range of audiences from SMEs to accountants and designers.

Media
An IP Australia patent examiner was profiled on ‘Ace Day Jobs' an on-line video program created by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The program aims to provide inspirational career guidance for smart young Australians. The video is also being used in IP Australia's Patent Examiner recruitment campaign.

Francis Gurry visit
Dr Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO visited Australia. A series of engagement activities were arranged to obtain high profile media coverage to raise the profile of Dr Gurry in Australia and IP in general. This has helped to initiate a strategic dialogue in the Australian media about the importance of IP to national economies.

Customer and Stakeholder Engagement
IP Australia hosted the IP Professionals Forum, IP Forum and an extraordinary Patent Consultation Group meeting to discuss the patent reform agenda.

Indigenous Stakeholder Engagement
IP Australia attended an Indigenous Economic Forum in Alice Springs and sponsored an Indigenous IP lawyer, Terri Janke, to speak at the event. This provided an excellent opportunity for indigenous stakeholder engagement.

  Studies to identify trends in new technology, e.g., by the use of patent statistics and preparation of monographs
  Studies of this kind are typically carried out by the IP Institute of Australia (IPRIA). At times, IP Australia specifically commissions IPRIA to conduct this research.

For further information visit the IPRIA website:
http://www.ipria.org/
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
  Patents Act:
http://www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Management.nsf/current/bytitle/F06A357BDE40D9B2CA256F710006FBDB?OpenDocument&mostrecent=1

Patents Regulations
http://www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Management.nsf/current/bytitle/B24C58674B11775CCA256F710006B589?OpenDocument&mostrecent=1

  contain the Annual Report of the Office
  Annual Report
http://www.innovation.gov.au/Section/AbouttheDepartment/Annual%20Report%20200809/resources/pdf/DIISR_ip_australia.pdf

  contain patent-related news regarding the Office
  Latest news:

Latest news is featured on the home page of IP Australia's website:
http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/

Subscription-based mailing lists:
http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/resources/lists_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)

Related Links

SCIT Archive