Annual Technical Report on Patent Information Activities in 2010 submitted by Australia (CWS/ATR/PI/2010/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
  2009:
Patent applications filed = 23,658
Patents granted = 12,410
PCT designations = N/A*

2010:
Patent applications filed = 24,887
Patents granted = 14,557
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
  Confidence in patent protection seems to be returning as filings are increasing following the previous downturn effects of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

  URLs of web pages of the Office's website that provide statistics related to patents
  http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/about/statistics.shtml
(IP Australia will be releasing a new website shortly. Any links to the current site will be redirected to the home page when the new site is live. Please contact IP Australia if you need assistance.)
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 2010 in the Australian Official Journal of Patents (AOJP) was:

* patent applications open to public inspection (AU-A) = 7,017
* patent applications advertised accepted (AU-B) = 16,049

Note:
The AU-A figure includes standard patent, and innovation patents made open to public inspection (OPI) either pre-grant or at grant. [Does not include National Phase Entries.]
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 website 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 website. 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 website:

AusPat

This database contains all Australian patent records dating back to 1904. It should be noted, however, that records prior to 1920 can only be accessed through searching the application number and/or the full specifications as no other data was captured during that era.

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
  http://pericles.ipaustralia.gov.au/ols/epublish/content/olsEpublications.jsp#
(IP Australia will be releasing a new website shortly. Any links to the current site will be redirected to the home page when the new site is live. Please contact IP Australia if you need assistance.)
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 website.

  Updating
  Updates to the Mimosa CD-ROMs and website 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.

  Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file
  N/A
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 website 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/
(IP Australia will be releasing a new website shortly. Any links to the current site will be redirected to the home page when the new site is live. Please contact IP Australia if you need assistance.)

  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
(IP Australia will be releasing a new website shortly. Any links to the current site will be redirected to the home page when the new site is live. Please contact IP Australia if you need assistance.)

  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

(IP Australia will be releasing a new website shortly. Any links to the current site will be redirected to the home page when the new site is live. Please contact IP Australia if you need assistance.)

  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
(IP Australia will be releasing a new website shortly. Any links to the current site will be redirected to the home page when the new site is live. Please contact IP Australia if you need assistance.)
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 website, 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
  IP Australia presented at the WIPO - JPO forum on Global Infrastructure and APEC IPEG meeting on: the VG ME Initiative; the IP Explorer web tool for SMEs; and the Survey on IPR Capacity Building Requirements in APEC Economies in Japan in March.

IP Australia presented on IP Commercialisation strategies at the APEC IP Symposium: Innovating IP Exploitation in Japan in September.

IP Australia presented at the IP Forum in Melbourne in May on the current International IP systems in place, trends in the international environment and possible future developments.

IP Australia presented at the International Seminar on Plant Variety Protection in Seoul, Korea in April.

IP Australia hosted a two week placement for 2 Patent examiners from China to share information and demonstrate IP Australia's search and examination tools, techniques and procedures.

IP Australia presented at the 3rd Workshop for Cooperation in the Harmonisation of Test Guidelines (TGs) and DUS Testing in Malaysia in August.

IP Australia presented at the WIPO ASEAN Sub-regional Forum on "Innovation Through Effective Cooperation on Patent Examination" held in Bangkok in October.

  Assistance to developing countries (sending consultants and experts, receiving trainees from developing countries, etc.)
  IP Australia hosted a three month leadership training program, the Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) Fellowship Program for five developing nation IP officials. Its objectives were to enhance the management and leadership capability in IP offices in the region through the provision of training and mentoring for mid to senior level overseas IP officials.

  Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)
  Key promotional activities in 2010:

Vocational Education and Training (VET)
IP Australia developed a range of courses on IP rights management and commercialisation for students in the vocational education and training sector. 25 Registered Training Organisations are currently delivering the courses.

SMEs
In collaboration with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore and the Hong Kong IP Department IP Australia launched an IP audit business tool, Intellectual Property Explorer to address the needs of businesses to identify their IP portfolio, assess its value and to develop strategies to manage and protect IP assets.

Four new fact sheets were added to the IP Passport suite that aims to educate exporters and importers on IP issues in key markets. The four new fact sheets were: Importing, European Union, New Zealand and Singapore, bringing the total to 13.

Indigenous Stakeholder Engagement
In November, Minister for Innovation, Senator Kim Carr launched the Dream Shield project which provides important and practical IP information for Indigenous inventors, designers and business owners.

National Event
IP Australia conducted a nationwide breakfast seminar series entitled ‘How to Make Your Brand Great'. Key speakers Tim Pethick (founder of Nudie Juice) and Shane Radbone (former CEO of Wendy's) introduced the key considerations for IP and branding in business to an audience of more than 650 delegates.

State Office Events
There were a total of 135 events undertaken in 2010 by the State Marketing Managers. These events targeted a wide range of audiences from SMEs to accountants and designers.

Other events of note
IP Australia sponsored the Australian International Design Awards (AIDA) and presented at the Small Business Development Conference and the National Small Business Summit.

  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/AboutUs/KeyPublications/AnnualReports/AnnualReport200910/index.html

  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#
(IP Australia will be releasing a new website shortly. Any links to the current site will be redirected to the home page when the new site is live. Please contact IP Australia if you need assistance.)
X. Other relevant matters
(IP Australia will be releasing a new website shortly. Any links to the current site will be redirected to the home page when the new site is live. Please contact IP Australia if you need assistance.)

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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