2.3.1 Definitions in the Patents Act

Date Published

Section 3 (and schedule 1) provides definitions for certain terms used throughout the Act. Although the application of any such definition is subject to the absence of a contrary intended meaning for a term, the inclusion of a definition in sec 3 indicates that such a contrary intention will generally be the exception. Therefore the definition given in sec 3 should be applied, unless it is evident that the definition is inapplicable in the context in which the term is used. Definitions which are of particular significance in examination are found in the relevant parts of this volume. The following definitions are relevant to examination generally:

"Patent" is intended to mean an Australian standard patent or an innovation patent (schedule 1). The contrary intention however is clearly apparent in various parts of the Act, e.g. in sec 201A(2)(a).  In these circumstances the definition given in schedule 1 does not apply.

"Patentee" is defined not by actual ownership of a patent, but by an appropriate entry in the Register. Legal proof of transfer of ownership is not, by itself, sufficient to change the identity of a patentee, unless and until the Register is appropriately amended.

The definition of the "Commissioner" relates only to the exercise of powers of functions under the Act and Regulations. For the purpose of the chief control of the Office, there is only one Commissioner. The organisation of the Office as such, within the Public Service generally, and the related aspects of individual positions, duties and responsibilities, are not affected by the fact that various persons may from time to time and in relation to specific matters, fall within the definition of the "Commissioner".