The Government has proposed legislative amendments to the Patents Act 1990 to abolish the How To Patent A Product Idea, following recommendations by the Productivity Commission which it accepted this past year. In addition to several other industry groups, the Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys (IPTA) has been actively lobbying the Government to support the innovation patent and undertake further consultation to know the impact abolition could have on innovation, particularly with regards to Australian small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The innovation patent was introduced in May 2001 to provide a second tier patent and replace the “petty patent” system that had operated since 1979. It was made to stimulate local SMEs to innovate, primarily because it may enable a faster and a lot more inexpensive means for protecting intellectual property that may not fulfill the inventive step requirement.
Second tier patent systems happen to be successfully operating for a long time in lots of overseas countries, including China and Germany where they’re called “utility models”. Our firm helps numerous local clients protect their new and valuable products so it appears to us that abolishing the Australian innovation patent is actually a retrograde move.
Inside the following video made by IPTA, Australian business people present their independent views regarding the Inventions and the ramifications should it be abolished. Australian innovators seeking IP protection may wish to give advance consideration to the Australian innovation patent system while it still exists.
You’ve turned a great idea into a product or service and have a fantastic brand name and business name. Now you’re considering registering a trade mark – wonderful idea! With a trade mark registration, you’ll gain: Protection over your reputation. Because the owner of a registered trade mark, it is possible to bring an infringement action against a copy-cat without having to submit evidence proving the trustworthiness of your trade mark. Your registered trade mark may be used to avoid the infringing use of a business, business or product name.
Deterrence – Third parties might be asked to re-brand away from your registered trade mark, rather than risk an allegation of infringement. An authorized trade mark may offer you a defence with an allegation of trade mark infringement raised by a third party. A continuing monopoly over your most valuable business asset. So long as your renewal fees are paid every 10 years and you also continue to apply your trade mark as registered, your trade mark registration can carry on and protect your company name/logo forever.
And the best bit? Many of these benefits are supplied nationwide – trade mark registrations are rarely subjected to geographical limitations within Australia. On the other hand, unregistered (or “common law”) trade marks vagrgq geographically limited to wherever reputation can be proven. So, what exactly should you register? Often, a trade mark forms only a small portion of a general brand. Your brand might be represented by way of a very distinctive font, logo or distinctive colours. Your unique business ethos and Invention Patent could also form part of your brand. Whilst this stuff are common very valuable from a marketing perspective, it’s likely not all the element can – or should – be protected being a trade mark.
A registered Trade Marks Attorney can help you evaluate which elements of your branding might be best registered to maximise the effectiveness of a trade mark registration, providing you with reassurance that this value you’re building inside your brand is properly protected.