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7.2.7 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.


Relevant Legislation

The Act

Section 17Directions to co-owners
Section 32Disputes between applicants
Section 224Review of decisions

The Regulations

Reg 22.24Practice and procedure other than for opposition proceedings
Reg 22.8Costs
Schedule 7Fees




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.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended
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