The first step involves sitting down with the Patent team at Monash Innovation and external Patent Attorneys who will assess novelty and inventiveness as well as the available scope of the patent based on the prior art. This process depends on the speed of response and iterations needed, and can take anywhere between two to eight weeks.
The normal process for Monash is that the Monash Innovation team will work with an external patent attorney to file a provisional patent at the Australian Patent Office. This starts the patenting clock and provides an initial date (known as the Priority Date) from which the future granted patent will be valid.
The first patent you file will typically be an Australian provisional patent that lapses after 12 months in favour of the PCT filing. Final Filing and Grant in Australia will happen during the National phase.
12 months after filing the provisional patent, in order to continue with patent prosecution we file the patent under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. This extends the process for another 18 months, allowing more time to continue development whilst maintaining possibilities for broad protection in a large number of countries (note, the patent is still provisional, and not granted yet!).
The contents of the patent are published on the World Intellectual Patent Office (WIPO) website, and shortly after on other systems such as Google Patent.
30 months after filing the provisional patent (month 0) comes the Nationals deadline, which means the patent must now be filed at every National jurisdiction where patent protection is required. This can be expensive ($5-10k AUD per country) so it is important that this decision is made by a commercial partner who will be covering the costs and can decide which countries are commercially relevant.
The patent as filed in the National jurisdiction will now go under the microscope of patent examiners in each country. This process can take another few years and the timeline is highly variable. Once the examiners have been satisfied that the patent meets all their criteria (which typically involves a lot of back and forth) - it will be granted.