The standard patent application is similar in protection to patents that are protected overseas with Australia’s major trading partners, including USA, Europe, China, India, New Zealand and Singapore. These types of standard complete patents last for up to 20 years (potentially up to 25 years in the case of some pharmaceutical substances) and must not only be novel but also inventiveness over an above what currently exists within the relevant technology for that invention.
For example while your idea maybe new and novel, if the improvement over the existing technology was interpreted to be an obvious step forward for the person skilled in that field of technology, then the requisite threshold test for inventiveness would not have been reached and such invention would not be granted.
Standard patent applications once filed are required to undergo examination. For the most part they will examined on the grounds as to whether or not the subject matter is suitable for patenting (for example some computer software systems and business methods are not patentable), is novel and inventive. There are no limitations on the number of claims lodged with the application, but if the application is allowed an excess claim fee is payable for each claim after Claim 20.
If the patent is allowed after review from IP Australia (Australia Patent Office) the application is published for a 3-month period of opposition and if nobody opposes the application it proceeds to grant providing an Acceptance fee is paid.
To maintain the application yearly renewal fees become payable within 4 years from filing the complete application.