3.2 Oppositions, Disputes and Other Proceedings - Procedural Summaries

Date Published



A number of potential actions by the Commissioner of Patents can be opposed.  

“Substantive” oppositions generally focus on patentability issues and the patent term, and are oppositions to the following actions by the Commissioner:

“Procedural” oppositions are oppositions to matters that arise during pre-grant processing of a patent application and the post-grant lifetime of a patent.  Procedural oppositions involve an opposition to:

Disputes and other proceedings

Disputes may arise as to the entitlement of a legal person to ownership of a patent, for example, who is the actual inventor or who derives entitlement from them.  Similarly, a patent may be granted to a person who is not entitled to the invention, or the name of an entitled person may be omitted from the Register.  

Disputes and other proceedings may arise as a result of:

  • requests under section 32 in relation to joint applicants;
  • applications for a declaration (and directions) under section 36;
  • an application for a determination under section 35, as a result of the revocation of a patent under section 137 following an offer to surrender; and
  • application for a declaration under section 191A.

The practice and procedures involved in resolving oppositions, disputes and other proceedings before the Commissioner are summarised in this section of the manual.