We are currently developing a new site to host the Patent Manual of Practice and Procedure. The BETA version of this site is now available for you to review. The information and content displayed in the BETA site is only available for testing purposes. Do not use or reference the information in the BETA site when making any decisions or actions regarding IP rights.

3.2.7 Sections 17 & 32 - Disputes Between Applicants and Co-Owners

Date Published

Note: This information applies to section 17 applications and requests under section 32 filed on or after 15 April 2013.

In this topic:

Relevant Legislation

The Act

Section 17

Directions to co-owners

Section 32

Disputes between applicants

Section 224

Review of decisions

The Regulations

Reg 22.24

Practice and procedure other than for opposition proceedings

Reg 22.8


Schedule 7



The Commissioner has power under section 17(1) to give directions to settle disputes between co-owners of a patent as to dealings with the patent, the grant of licences under it or the exercise of a right under section 16.

Similarly section 32 provides a mechanism for the Commissioner to determine a dispute between any two or more joint applicants in relation to a patent application whether, or in what manner, the application should proceed.

Where a request under section 32 is made, the Commissioner is empowered to make any determinations the Commissioner thinks fit for enabling the application to proceed in the name of one or more of the applicants alone, or for regulating the manner in which it is to proceed, or both, as the case requires.

A request may be made under section 32 whether or not the application has lapsed.  

Note: From 15 April 2013, section 32 is limited to disputes arising between joint applicants (as was the case under the equivalent section 63 of the 1952 Act).  Entitlement disputes involving third parties may be pursued under section 36.

Back to top