Welcome to the new version of the Patents Manual. Please note there are changes to the numbering and sequence of the chapters and pages in the manual. You are encouraged to take the time to explore and familiarise yourself with this new structure. General requirements for approved forms

Date Published

Key Legislation: 

Patents Regulations:

  • reg 3.1 Prescribed documents: patent applications
  • reg 22.15 Requirements for filing documents
  • reg 22.16 Consequences for certain documents not meeting filing requirements

Approved Forms:

Related Chapters:


This section provides guidance on:

  • the standard for compliance with approved forms; and
  • what happens when a document is not compliant.

Examination practice

Compliance with approved forms

In general, examination practice is to treat a form that is in substantial compliance with an approved form as being compliant.

However, if a document does not substantially comply with reg 22.15 or the formal requirements, or is not in accordance with the relevant "approved form", the Commissioner may either:

  • treat the document as if it had not been filed and notify the person who filed it, indicating how it does not comply (reg 22.16(2)(a)); or
  • treat the document as having been filed, but direct the person who filed it, to take action to make it compliant (reg 22.16(2)(b)). If the person does not comply with this direction within the prescribed period, the document is treated as not having been filed (reg 22.16(4)).

Company number

Australian law requires companies and other entities to quote their Australian Company Number (ACN), Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN) and/or Australian Business Number (ABN) on various documents.

However, the Commissioner is not required to check for the inclusion, authenticity or accuracy of any such numbers that may be provided on the patent request or other documents relating to a patent application.

Therefore, examiners are not required to check if these numbers are missing and should not use the numbers on any correspondence.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Published for testing

Back to top