A patent protects the way a device works, or its function. A granted patent provides you with a twenty year monopoly on your idea, protecting it from imitation and allowing it to be sold or licensed. Patent applications are lodged with the patent office of the country in which protection is sought. The Australian patent office is called IP Australia.
Patent Assistance: What is patentable?
Protecting a new technology or the manner in which a device works is generally the most recognised form of patenting an idea. In Australia, patentable subject matter pertains to a ‘manner of manufacture’. This includes patents relating to business methods consisting of a physical component. However, in some jurisdictions, such as Europe, business methods as a general rule cannot be patented.
Patent Assistance: What is the patent process?
Filing an Australian provisional patent application usually initiates proceedings, protecting your invention for 12 months. A patent search is usually then performed to identify possible relevant prior art. The results of this search will enable you to assess the chances of your patent being granted and to moderate how you will prosecute your patent application in later stages of the application process.
More comprehensive patent protection will involve the filing of a complete application within 12 months of filing a provisional application. This may consist of either a PCT application that will mature into national phase applications lodged in the countries in which you seek protection, or direct applications filed individually in the countries you elect.
Patent Assistance: Who can assist me with my patent?
A patent attorney is a person who represents a patent applicant or patent holder and is specially qualified to do so. Patent assistance can come in the form of assisting clients to file, prosecute (e.g. respond to examination reports) and maintain patent applications as well as act for clients in patent oppositions and provide patent validity and infringement advice.
The following is a list of patent assistance activities which may be conducted by patent attorneys, as per the Institute of Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia website:
- Submit applications for and secure patents, registered trademarks, industrial designs and plant variety types in Australia and overseas
- Assist in transferring technology by licensing and other processes
- Conduct intellectual property (IP) audits of companies and products
- Determine the nature and ambit of inventions and prepare patent specifications
- Give IP advice, assist IP owners to register and maintain their property
- Lodge documents with the Patent Office, and guide applications through the process
- Evaluate novelty of developments to consider justification of a patent
Further patent assistance may be to manage your IP portfolios, advise on patents and registrations held by others, and advise on whether developments infringe or might infringe rights held by others.
Important Disclaimer: The information on this website is not legal or professional advice. The information may:
- not be correct;
- only relate to the law or practice in a given country; and/or
- be outdated.
For more information, please contact the Site Administrator: Baxter IP, Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys in Sydney & Melbourne.