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2.29.8 Return or Deletion of Filed Documents

Date Published

Under Chapter 4 of the Act, documents filed for a patent or patent application generally become open to public inspection (OPI).  In many cases, correspondence will be available to the public from IP Australia’s website within 24 hours of it being filed.  Consequently, the marking of correspondence as ‘confidential’ does not have any effect on the disclosure of that correspondence to other parties under the Patents Act.

IP Australia is also subject to the Archives Act 1983, under which the destruction or alteration of a Commonwealth record is an offence.  Therefore, a request for the Commissioner to return, delete or redact documents that have become part of a Commonwealth record, including documents filed in relation to patents and patent applications, will be refused.

However, where documents are filed in error and are not part of the official record they may be returned or destroyed.

Where a filed document is part of the official record, the Commissioner may, in certain circumstances, order that filed documents not be OPI; see 3.13 Documents not OPI – Orders for Inspection.

Note: Requests for documents to be returned, deleted or not be OPI should be referred to the Assistant General Manager (OEP).

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