What is a patent?

A patent is a right that is granted for any device, substance, method or process that is new, inventive, and useful.

A patent is legally enforceable and gives you (the owner), exclusive rights to commercially exploit the invention for the life of the patent.

Some of the benefits of getting a patent are:

  • It gives you the right to stop others from manufacturing, using and/or selling your invention in Australia without your permission.
  • It lets you license someone else to manufacture your invention on agreed terms or take legal action against people who are using your invention without your permission.
  • It encourages Australians to continue their research, to develop new and innovative products, exploit new technology and promotes the transfer of technology to Australia.
  • It gives our trading partners the incentive to provide similar rights and thereby protect our exports in markets overseas.

If you want to protect the way your invention works then patenting may be the most appropriate option.

If your invention is new, not publicly disclosed and has commercial potential, then you are ready to consider what type of patent will suit your needs.

Do I need to get a patent?

If you have developed a new device, substance, method or process you should decide whether patenting it should be part of your business strategy.

  • Does a patent offer the best protection for your invention?
  • Can you be granted a patent?
  • Do you have all the information required to file a patent application?

How much does a patent cost?

You can decide whether you need a patent before having to pay any major costs.

Filing a provisional application is quite inexpensive and gives you 12 months to consider the commercial worth of your invention and to resolve issues such as finance and licensing. Then you can decide whether to continue with patent protection.

A provisional patent does not provide you with patent protection on its own. You will need to file a complete application within 12 month of applying for a provisional application.

What are the different types of patents?

There are differences in the cost of the patents, the length of protection they offer, the time they take to process and the type of invention they seek to cover. There are three ways you can go about applying for a patent in Australia:

  • provisional application – a provisional application gives you time to determine whether your invention is worthy of further time, money and effort associated with filing a complete application for a patent. It is also cheaper to file a provisional application than a standard complete application.
  • standard patent – a standard patent gives long-term protection and control over an invention. It lasts for up to 20 years from the filing date of your complete application (or up to 25 years for pharmaceutical substances).
  • innovation patent – An innovation patent lasts up to 8 years and is designed to protect inventions that do not meet the inventive threshold required for standard patents. It is a relatively quick and inexpensive way to obtain protection for your new device, substance, method or process.

Why use Internet Law?

If you are have an invention in mind it would be beneficial for you to speak to an experienced lawyer to find out if you need to get a patent for your invention and what is the appropriate patent for your needs. Internet Law could help you find a lawyer who will be able to advise you on this important matter. Contact us today to make use of our free referral service.

Contact us with your enquiry today!