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Patents FAQ

These are brief and generalised answers to frequently asked questions about inventions and patents.

Please contact us directly if you need advice on a specific matter.

How can I protect my new invention?

There are two main forms of protection:

Designs protect the shape or appearance of your product.

Patents are a broader form of protection, covering the way in which it functions and/or underlying principles.

We can advise you as to the appropriate form of protection. Sometimes, it will be appropriate to have both a patent and a design.

What do I need to do?

Firstly: Keep your invention secret, and don't offer the new product for sale.

You need to keep it secret until you have decided how it will be protected. If you really need to tell someone about it before consulting us, then you need to get that person to sign a written confidentiality agreement.

Secondly: Consult a professional patent attorney, such as ourselves.

I have already published information about my invention. Is it too late to patent it?

Contact us immediately to discuss your situation.

It may still be possible to patent your invention in Australia (at least), but the patenting process will need to start as soon as possible.

Why use a patent attorney?

Patents are a particularly complex form of intellectual property.

Unless your patent application is professionally drafted by a professional patent attorney like ourselves, it is unlikely to provide you with the level of protection needed for your valuable invention.

We can:

  • Research your invention to minimise expensive conflicts and litigation with existing patent or design rights.
  • Acquire broad legal rights that protect your invention adequately and stop others from exploiting loopholes or inadequacies.
  • Assist you in dealing with infringers.

Are there different types of patent?

In Australia, there are two two types of patent:

Standard Patent (20-year term) - a longer-term patent right, with higher inventiveness requirements.

Innovation Patent (8-year term) - a quick way (for up to 8 years) to take legal action - cheaper because examination is only needed when taking legal action.

Once we have drafted your patent, we can properly advise on an appropriate patenting strategy to suit your invention and your circumstances.

How do I get a Worldwide Patent Registration?

Unfortunately, there is no international system which will provide a single registration of your patent throughout the world.

We can advise you on appropriate strategies to protect your invention in overseas markets.

Will the Patent Office ensure that my trademark is not infringed?

No - the Patent Office does not act as an enforcement agency.

You are responsible for keeping a lookout for anyone copying your invention and for taking legal action.

We can assist you in this - we have a range of monitoring packages available.