Patent law in Australia, which is administered by the Australian Government, provides protection for an invention with commercialisation prospects. A registered patent gives the owner a monopoly to exploit the invention commercially for the life of the patent, including the right to license others to make, sell or use the invention. The owner of a registered patent can also exclude others from making, using or selling their invention.

Inventors need to lodge a formal patent application for consideration for patent protection, which is not granted automatically. They should seek professional advice, and keep the invention secret until the patent is registered, as disclosure to anyone outside a confidential setting may invalidate the patent.

This guide explains what patents are, how to apply for them, what they protect, and approaches to take other than, or as well as, applying for a patent.