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.

6.4.1 Introduction

Date Published

As a result of an initial agreement reached between the Australian Patent Office and the Administrator-General of the Government of Fiji in 1979, this Office undertook to do patent searching on behalf of the Fijian Government.

In view of the fact that the Fijian Administrator-General may not have access to expertise to consider the results of such a search, it will be necessary, in addition to the search, to provide an advisory opinion on the patentability (to the extent of manner of manufacture) and novelty under Australian patent law concepts, of the Fijian application. This opinion must be comprehensive since it is assumed that no further opinion will usually be issued and that the Fijian Administrator-General has no detailed knowledge of patent law.

Under Fijian law the Administrator-General determines whether the application is prima facie entitled to protection. If so, a provisional certificate is issued and the application is published. In the absence of opposition, letters patent are granted. Thus the purpose of the Australian Patent Office performing a search and giving an advisory opinion is to assist the Administrator-General in his determination of the application's prima facie registrability.

Since these searches are based on applications filed according to Fijian law the specification is not required to contain claims, however the specification is required to describe and ascertain the nature of the invention and the manner in which it is performed. To assist in elucidating the invention, drawings should also be filed. In addition, Fijian law requires an invention to be for a manner of new manufacture, a new process of manufacture, a new method of applying a known process or improvements in known processes and letters patent in Fiji can only be granted for one invention. Thus, except for the absence of claims, the requirements of the Fijian Patents Act are similar to the requirements of our Act, but not as well developed.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Published for testing

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