The Australian Patents Amendment Act 2001
(Amending Act) came into operation on 1 April 2002.
The effect of the Amending Act is to raise substantially the threshold requirements for patentability in Australia. The standard for both novelty and inventive step, and the standard of proof that must be satisfied by applicants, is higher, and those who fail to disclose relevant information to the Commissioner risk losing their rights altogether. On the other hand, applicants for patents are likely to receive some benefit from the proposed introduction of a grace period. The main changes effected by the Amending Act and other proposed changes are summarised below.