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6.2.4 Unity of Invention

Date Published

Key Legislation:

​​​​​​​Patent Regulations:

  • reg 3.14A Request for international-type search relating to provisional application
  • Schedule 7 Fees

Related Chapters:

An international-type search may be established on one invention only for each fee that is paid (Schedule 7 Part 2 Item 236).

The examiner will consider the question of unity of invention in the same way as for a normal international search (see Unity of Invention) and the following procedure applies:

  • If the examiner considers there is lack of unity, the examiner, with prior approval of the Supervising Examiner will write a letter to the applicant advising that the application does not comply with the requirements of unity of invention, giving reasons, inviting an indication of which invention is to be searched and advising that we are prepared to search one or more of the other inventions upon payment of a 15(5) search fee for each invention for which a search is required. See RIO Requesting a Search Statement for guidance on requesting a search statement due to Lack of Unity. The Supervising Examiner will receive a QA task indicating their approval for the Requested additional search fees.

  • No further action is to be taken by the examiner until a reply has been received from the applicant. If no reply is received within one month, RIO will automatically send out monthly reminders. The letter will advise the applicant that although IP Australia is unable to refund the fee paid for the filing of the request under regulation 3.14A - see IP Australia's Refund Policy - they may request a partial waiver of the fee, which will be considered in light of the particular circumstances and will not generally exceed 50% of the applicable fee. Upon a request of a partial waiver of fee being made, the case will be referred to AGM (ELEC) for consideration.

  • The basis of any search actually conducted will be indicated on the first sheet of the report (see Annex C).

Note: See Customer Service Charter (Timeliness Standards) for time limits to issue the international-type search report.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Published for testing

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