Obtaining patent protection for an invention can be an integral part of its successful commercialisation. Without protection, potentially anyone can copy your invention and profit from it.
What kinds of ideas can be protected?
Patents can cover a wide variety of subject material, ranging from inventions to substances to business methods. The eligibility for patentability is not uniform worldwide, however, and is generally specific to the patent office of a particular country.
What is the idea protection process?
A provisional application is generally the first step in obtaining patent protection. The provisional application is designed to give you 12 months of protection so that you are able to consolidate your invention or refine your patent specification. Once you lodge the provisional application (with the relevant patent office) a priority date is created. The priority date can be claimed for the protection of your idea, notwithstanding that complete patent applications may be filed at a later stage. In order to finalise the patent protection, you must file a complete application prior to the end of the 12 months lapse period from the priority date.
The complete application may comprise either a PCT application which eventually matures into national phase applications filed in the countries in which you seek protection, or direct applications which you lodge in each of the countries you elect.
Who can assist me with my idea protection?
A patent attorney has specific training which allows him or her to represent patent applicants or patent holders. They are qualified to conceive of ways in which an invention may be infringed, and accordingly to develop specifications which reduce the risk of potential imitation.
An insightful patent attorney combines technical expertise and legal knowhow to generate efficacious claims for your invention, leaving an unbridled scope for minor details of your invention to be changed in the future while maintaining protection for the main inventive concept.
Patent attorneys are further able to engage in IP advice and maintain various forms of IP throughout the process from conception to transfer of rights, in addition to acting for clients where an infringement situation has taken place.
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- be outdated.