Where a person has invented a device, substance, process or method which has the characteristic of providing a “new” way of doing something, or offers a new solution to a problem, it is important that the owner’s IP rights in the invention are protected.
A patent is the vehicle for protecting such rights.
The Patents Act 1990 (Cth) prescribes certain criteria which must be met before an invention can be patented.
In short, the device, substance, method or process must not only be new but must also be “novel, inventive and useful”.
Patent protection is not automatic. A thorough registration process must be adhered to in order to obtain patent approval.
Generally, there are two types of patents in Australia:-
- standard patent; and
- innovation patent.
A standard patent lasts for 20 years.
An innovative patent lasts for 8 years.
Usually an innovative patent will be utilised where the “inventive threshold” required for the standard patent is not able to be met.
Patent registration provides its holder with a legally enforceable exclusive right to commercially exploit the invention for the duration of the patent. Once a patent expires, the protection ends and the invention enters the public domain, i.e. the owner no longer holds exclusive rights to the invention, which becomes available to commercial exploitation by others.
There is a separate patent application process for international protection, which will vary depending on the country.
Contact us for further information:
The material provided in this document is for general information only and is not to be relied upon as advice. No responsibility is accepted for any loss, damage or injury, financial or otherwise, suffered by any person or organisation acting or relying on this information or anything omitted from it.
Copyright © Greyson Legal 2017, All rights reserved.