Patents protect inventions from being copied by providing the patent owner with the exclusive right to exploit an invention. Successful and innovative businesses use patents to protect their investments in research and innovation and to charge a premium for their products and services. Using the patent system sends a signal to customers that products and services offered by a business are innovative and superior to their competitors.
Obtaining patent protection can be affordable and patent strategies can be developed that get the best possible value for money. Failing to obtain patent protection allows competitors to copy new and innovative ideas and products. The fastest growing and most successful companies use patent protection as a key part of their business strategy.
A patent that is prepared well with the assistance of an experienced patent attorney may have a broad scope and be difficult for a competitor to avoid. A good patent can be very valuable and can add significantly to the assets of a business. Investors can be reassured if their investment in a business or an idea is supported by patent protection.
Patents are different from Registered Designs and Copyright. A patent protects how an invention works and is not limited to one specific form or embodiment.
The patent process usually starts with filing a Provisional Patent Application. Within twelve months after filing the Provisional Patent Application one or more further patent applications are filed, such as an Australian Standard Patent Application or Innovation Patent Application, or an International Patent Application (sometimes referred to as a ‘PCT Application’) if overseas patent protection is sought. Ultimately, a Patent Application must be filed in each country in which patent protection is to be obtained. We are experienced in drafting and filing patent specifications on behalf of our clients suitable for Australian and overseas Patent Applications.
Patent applications undergo an examination procedure to determine whether an invention is deserving of protection. Characteristics of the patent application and the invention are considered such as whether the patent specification satisfies legal requirements, whether the invention is novel (i.e. new) and involves an inventive step (i.e. is not obvious) when compared with what is already in the public domain (i.e. the prior art base). As experienced Patent Attorneys we assist clients in prosecuting Patent Applications through the examination process both in Australia and, with the assistance of our foreign associates, overseas.
Patents must be renewed by the payment of maintenance fees to the Patent Office of each country where a Patent has been sought. Maintenance fees may be due annually or on a multi year basis. The failure to pay a maintenance fee by a deadline can result in substantial late fees or even irrevocable lapsing of a Patent. We monitor these deadlines and provide timely reminders to ensure that these fees are paid on time providing peace of mind and security for our clients.
A grace period of 12 months is available in some jurisdictions such as Australia, the United States of America and Canada if an inventor has disclosed their invention before filing a patent application.
We are unique as dually qualified as Patent and TradeMarks Attorneys and as Lawyers. We do not simply focus on the registration process and refer you off to lawyers at the first sign of conflict. Rather, we can assist you in enforcing your rights, defending your position and resolving conflict.
Commercialisation of Intellectual Property rights involves strategies for delivering your products or services into the market place. This depends on a number of factors including existing business capabilities, third party skills and resources, access to finance and channels to market.