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. Adjournment of Hearings

Date Published

Key Legislation:

Patents Regulations:

  • reg 22.23 Written submissions and oral hearings

Adjournment of a hearing is governed by reg 22.23(3), which states:

"The Commissioner may adjourn an oral hearing from time to time or from place to place by notifying the person."

However, it is the practice of the Commissioner to hear as much as possible of a case at the appointed time. 

Circumstances where an adjournment (other than adjournments for lunch etc) may be appropriate are:

  • illness or another situation preventing a party or the hearing officer from continuing with the hearing.
  • a party having had insufficient time to reasonably prepare their case (or has prepared their case on the basis of the wrong specification), and to start or continue with the hearing would be a denial of natural justice.
  • material being adduced at the hearing; if that material is properly adduced (either by agreement at the hearing, or by subsequent decision), the other party is entitled to have time to consider and rebut that material, which is properly done at an adjourned hearing (or by written submissions). Nevertheless, the hearing should proceed in respect of the evidence on file.
  • inability of a party to attend a hearing for reasons beyond their control, e.g. public transport strike.

Consideration should be given to conducting any further hearing by means of written submissions.

Note: A hearing may be adjourned even if it has not commenced.

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended
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