Have you devised a new gadget, design or method of working that will revolutionise your industry? Perhaps you’ve forged a reputation for excellence and don’t want others to try and pass off cheap imitations of your product as their own. In both of these cases (and many more), it’s sensible to ensure that you have intellectual property protection in place.
In Australia, there are six distinct types of intellectual property protection available, as well as additional legislation which covers matters such as trade secrets. If you haven’t come across Intellectual Property Law before, here are a few points to consider.
Intellectual property protection: ideas, designs, text and logos
The four most common types of intellectual property protection you’ll come across are:
- design protection (how something looks) and
- plant breeders rights.
There are also specialised forms of protection for text (copyright) and circuit layout rights. It’s not always clear which type of intellectual property would apply to your product, so expert legal assistance is sometimes required to decide this.
See these LawAnswers.com.au Blog posts for more information:
- Copyright Basics for Everyday Australians
- Patent Basics in Australia
- Patent Infringement in Australia – What Can You Do?
Your creation may already be out there
If you’ve come up with what you think is a new way of doing something, or a fresh new name for your business, it’s important to check that it hasn’t already been patented or trademarked elsewhere. A good initial step is to search the internet to see if you can find anything similar to your work. If nothing appears, the next step is to check intellectual property databases to see if your proposed product is already patented.
Intellectual property databases can be hard to navigate
There are intellectual property databases for most parts of the world which are usually free to access. Unfortunately these are quite complicated to navigate and knowing which search terms to use in order to get the right information is a challenge. Often professional legal assistance is needed to ensure that accurate results are obtained.
Don’t let someone else pinch your ideas! We can connect you with the lawyer you need to help you through every stage of the intellectual property protection process, enabling you to hold on to your unique work and keep it safe from competitors.
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