Consumer product patents

Consumer products are fast moving and typically less complicated compared with inventions in other industries, so people often disregard the importance of filing patent applications for them. However, often the simplest innovations are the most profitable and carry the least commercialisation risk.

Contrary to popular belief, simplicity is absolutely no bar to patentability – patents are granted and designs are registered on new consumer products every day and are enforced around the world. This allows companies and entrepreneurs to benefit financially from their bright ideas and investment in their own inventions.

What products are patentable?

So long as your consumer product is new, inventive and has functional utility, it should be patentable in any country around the world.

Benefits and challenges of filing consumer product patent applications

Consumer products have some of the lowest commercialisation risks among patent industries. However, inventors and innovators see little value in pursuing a patent strategy for consumer products, which usually are fast moving but of lower cost to develop compared with other technologies.

One could consider the volume that can be acquired in the market for these consumer products: if successful in identifying the gap in the market and supplying the market with the goods, there is a huge potential to own that market share. Similarly large is the possibility that a competitor can eye and covet a chunk or all of that market share by positioning a similar product based on your product. In this case, a carefully designed patent portfolio can go a long way in protecting both the invented product and the possible tweaks to the product. How? By involving patent attorneys that understand both the technological and the business aspects of bringing a product into the market.

Foresight is important: “How will my competitor tweak my product to make it their own without infringing on my existing patents?” and design a patent strategy to address the possible answers.

Examples of granted consumer product patent applications

Consumer electronics
AU Patent # 2004204969
Fast play DVD

Disney Enterprises, Inc

Kitchen
AU Patent # 2016253711
Electrically operated kitchen appliance

Vorwerk & Co. Interholding GmbH

Clothing, footwear & fashion (patent applications & registered designs)
AU Patent # 2015367820
Shoe having upper and sole

ASICS Corporation

Sporting equipment
AU Patent # 2017202083
Aquatic sport performance garment with restraints and method of making same

Roka Sports, Inc

Toys & novelty goods
AU Patent # 2017100043
EDUCATIONAL TOY is an invention that can be useful as a toy and as an educational device for children.The toy allows children to construct various height stands and various angles for rolling a variety of objects down channels. The toy can be made in the form of various materials including natural bamboo, timber or plastic or any other material. The toy is intended to help children experiment and explore different angles, weights of objects and build their foundational mathematical/scientific understanding of force and motion.

Explore Nook Pty Ltd

Architectural fittings
AU Patent # 2016210686
A lock and latch assembly

Illinois Tool Works, Inc

Furniture
AU Patent # 2018101784
Chair bracing apparatus

Van Tonder, Andries Johan

Packaging
AU Patent # 2015258251
A cap and blister pack housing a substance and having an integral piercing implement

Kambouris Shares Pty Ltd

Tapware
AU Patent # 2017100689
Ultra-thin double-sided shower head

Fujian Xihe Sanitary Ware Technology Co., Ltd

Lighting
AU Patent # 2019100003
Solar garden light

Hwang, Christina