Australian patent process

Developing new technologies allows businesses to generate significant new revenue streams and charge higher margins. However, at the start of the process the value of a new invention is difficult to measure. Only once you have built the product and started selling it will you develop the associated revenue stream.

Having spent time and money developing a great idea, you will want to stop others from copying it and competing with you. As it’s cheaper and easier to simply copy a product rather than have to design and invent it, copycats are, typically, able to undercut the price at which you can sell your product. This is because the inventor of a new innovation will need to recoup the investment and research and development costs of the innovation through sales of the commercial product.

The good news is that there is a way to stop this from happening if you are able to obtain patent protection and the start of the Australian patent process is to file a patent application for your invention. Obtaining a patent on your invention is a way of obtaining a legal monopoly for your invention and will allow you to take action against those people who copy your invention.

If you do not want to sell the product yourself, once your patent has been filed you can licence your invention if you choose to allow others to use your invention. This means you could still be paid for your idea even if you don’t want to commercialise it yourself. This payment may take the form of a lump sum payment, royalty fees, a combination of both or another scheme altogether.

Importantly, it is crucial that you file a patent application before you sell or publicly disclose your invention. This is because once the information is in the public domain it is deemed to be public information and you cannot patent public information even if you came up with the idea. Therefore you need to speak to a patent attorney and file your patent application before disclosing your invention to any third party.

The Australian patent process can be lengthy depending on the options you choose and therefore obtaining a patent on your invention is a long term investment in your idea. Depending on your invention you could get a granted patent within 6 months but the process typically takes between 1 – 3 years before a patent office can undertake a full review of your application and the various processes completed. Your patent attorney can also match the application timelines with your commercial timelines to ensure you are taking the most appropriate commercial pathway. The best thing you can do is obtain expert advice as soon as possible.

Click through below to learn more about the different stages of the Australian patent process: