Why do I need to protect my invention?
If you are new to the inventive scene, you may be thinking to yourself, “How do I protect my invention?” Obtaining patent protection for an invention can be very important to its successful commercialisation. A lack of such protection means that potentially anyone can copy your invention and unfairly profit from it and also means that you cannot license your invention.
How do I protect my invention from being copied?
The Australian patent office, IP Australia, grants two kinds of patents. The standard patent affords the applicant sole control over their invention for up to 20 years. An innovation patent only lasts for up to 8 years and is a speedier, cheaper alternative to the standard patent. Innovation patents also require a lower threshold of inventiveness, whereby the invention includes an innovative step rather than an inventive step. Renewal fees apply for both types.
The first port of call when seeking to protect your invention may be in the form of a provisional application which provides you with 12 months to further develop both your invention and your patent specification. Filing the provisional application (with the relevant patent office) creates a priority date, so that the protection afforded to your idea can claim this date. Before the 12 month period has lapsed, you must file a complete application to proceed to the next step of securing your patent(s).
How do I protect my invention in other countries?
Protecting your invention in another country is started by way of filing a complete patent application. It may be in the form of a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application, which establishes a priority date in all of the 140 or so countries signatory to the PCT. Establishing protection in a particular country is then simply a matter of filing a “national phase application” in each country you desire. This must be carried out within 30 or 31 months of the priority date, depending on the country.
How do I get assistance with protecting my invention?
Identifying the numerous angles from which competitors may attempt to encroach on your invention is extremely important to shield the invention as thoroughly as possible from the outset. Therefore, your provisional patent application should certainly be professionally prepared by a patent attorney, who is qualified to represent a patent applicant or patent holder.
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.