Expedited Examination

Date Published

Applicants may request that the examination of an application be expedited (reg 3.17). The request can be made in writing or by phone.

COG will consider and process any service request for expedited examination and then forward the expedited case to the relevant examination section as appropriate. Expedited cases will appear at the top of the section's in-tray and are highlighted in yellow.

Subregulation 3.17(2) provides that the Commissioner may expedite examination if:

‘reasonably satisfied that:

a. it is in the public interest; or

b. there are special circumstances that make it desirable.’

Consequently, the Commissioner requires reasons to be provided with the request for expedited examination. Without limiting the circumstances that the Commissioner may consider justify expedited examination, valid reasons include that the invention is in a field of technology that is environmentally beneficial (‘green’ technology), the applicant is a small to medium sized enterprise (SME), that a valid request has been made under a Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) agreement  (see Expedited Examination Under the Global Patent Prosecution Highway) or IP Australia-European Patent Office Patent Prosecution Highway (IP Australia-EPO PPH) pilot program (see Expedited Examination Under the IP Australia-European Patent Office Patent Prosecution Highway), or that there are pressing commercial reasons, such as the existence of a potential infringement.

Where examiners receive a phone call from an applicant requesting expedited examination, the matter should be referred to a supervising examiner who will determine whether examination should proceed on an expedited basis.

Note: Where a request for expedited examination has been allowed, a report (clear or adverse) should issue within 8 weeks from the date of the request.

Note: Examiners are not expected to assess whether the applicant is an SME.