There are a broad range of intellectual property options available to protect your idea. The type of intellectual property protection you need will depend on what you have invented/created. Below are some of the options available to you;

  • Patent: Patents protect the way things work. They can be used for the protection of new or improved products, processes or methods. For example, a computer programmer who develops a new operating system, or an engineer who creates a new car part or household or personal appliance. You may consider a patent application if you have invented something which is a new product or an improved method of doing something.
  • Innovation Patent: Perhaps your invention is a minor improvement over an existing product, or a product which is likely to have a short life-span. An innovation patent may provide rapid and cost effective protection for your invention. The company that owns Old el Paso famously filed an innovation patent for a flat bottom taco shell. 
  • Design Registration: The unique appearance of a product may be protected by way of a design application. For example, Apple’s iconic iPod is protected by a registered design. This means that no one can produce a similar product which has the same shape. You may consider a design registration if the shape or ‘look’ of your product is an important aspect of its saleability and/or distinguishes it from other competitors in your market.
  • Trade mark: A trade mark is a representation or “sign” used to distinguish the goods or services of one trader from similar goods or services of other traders. It may take the form of a word, logo, colour, shape, scent or sound. Examples of some well-known trademarks include the Coca Cola logo and McDonald’s yellow ‘M’. Some interesting examples of trade marks include;
    • Cadbury’s trademark for the colour purple on chocolate,
    • Veuve Clicquot’s orange for champagne,
    • A sound mark for McCain’s “ahh McCain ♫ping ♫ you’ve done it again.
    • A sound mark for Mars Australia’s Schmackos ♫DOGS GO WACKO DOGS GO WACKO FOR SCHMACKOS♫
  • Domain names are also an important form of IP. Businesses considering applying for a trade mark for should also check that the website domain name is available.
  • Copyright: Copyright is a form of IP providing protection for a wide range of artistic, creative and intellectual works. Copyright is automatic and no registration is required, but you need to make sure you own the copyright (particularly where you have engaged someone to create an artistic work for you or someone has engaged you to create something for them).
  • Other IP Rights
    • Trade secrets/confidentiality – confidential information such as know how or procedures
    • Circuit layouts – the original layout designs for integrated circuits and computer chips
    • Plant Breeders’ Rights – the registration of new plant varieties

How much does it cost?

IP protection can be obtained cost effectively if the right strategy is adopted. At Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick (POF), we offer an initial free, confidential consultation to discuss your idea/invention so as to advise you on the best course of action for pursuing IP protection. We will provide you with an estimate before commencing any work and can tailor IP solutions to meet your budget.

How we can help?

POF has more than 40 patent attorneys and trademark attorneys who are engineers, scientists, and chemists. We can assist with drafting, filing and enforcing your intellectual property rights.  We have extensive experience in preparing and prosecuting patent applications, trade mark applications and design applications across a wide range of technologies. We have offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide and frequently travel to other states and regional areas all over Australia to meet with clients.

 

To arrange a free consultation contact us on (03) 9614 1944 or enquiry@pof.com.au