What is a patent?
A patent is a form of intellectual property which protects the right of an original inventor of a device, technique, method or product to be the exclusive producer of that product or the user of that technique or method. Patent law is designed to create an incentive for entrepreneurs to innovate. It means that our economic system will reward research and innovation and for this reason, strong patent protection laws are are essential element of a dynamic, technologically advanced and forward looking economy. According to IP Australia, the government body responsible for regulating this area, a patent is a legally enforceable exclusive right to commercially exploit the invention for the life of the patent. There are also two types of patents in Australia. The first is a standard patent which gives the owner long-term protection and control over an invention for up to 20 years. There is also the innovation patent which is a relatively fast, inexpensive protection option, lasting a maximum of 8 years. The innovation patent replaced the petty patent on 24 May 2001.
How can a patent attorney help me?
There are a few different types of legal professionals who interact with the patent process. A patent attorney is a specialized professional who can assist by assessing the likelihood of the success of a patent application when it is examined and assist clients to prepare patent applications in a way that will ensure that the application is approved. There are also patent lawyers who are slightly different in that they actually advise on and conduct the litigation in relation to patent disputes which are heard before the registrar at Intellectual Property Australia and on appeal in the Federal Magistrates Court or the Federal Court of Australia. A patent lawyer therefore has a slightly different skill set and way of assisting in comparison to a patent attorney. If you have any inquiries about a patent under Australian law please do not hesitate to contact us.