Electrical engineering and electronics patents

Inventions and innovations in electronic and electromechanical technology have revolutionised and continue to change the modern world. Nikola Tesla’s patent for his alternating electric current generator was one of the earliest granted patents in the field of electrical engineering, and the multiple number of patents in the scientist’s name underlined the importance of patents in his time. The importance of patents still holds true at present, when electronic and electromechanical technology is a key foundation upon which many industries rely.

The electronics and electrical engineering industry is a fast moving sector for development with innovation as a driving force. The sector covers fields as diverse as transaction terminals to laser engineering and is one of the most heavily patented technology sectors in the world.

What electronic equipment, devices, or systems are patentable?

As long as your electrical engineering or electronic device invention is new and inventive, it should be patentable in most countries around the world. Additionally, circuit board layout designs can be protected as design registrations in many countries, and could also be protected under copyright laws in many instances.

Benefits and challenges of patenting electronics

Filing early is particularly important in filing patents in order to maximise the gains from the particular invention.

One example of the successful research and protection of electrical technology is by the CSIRO in Australia. They developed Wi-Fi technology that is found in most wireless routers in homes and businesses around the country. The core parts of this technology was developed incidentally in the early 90s by a team of CSIRO researchers in their search for black hole echoes. To this day, the research agency owns key patents to the technology, which brings in hundreds of millions of dollars in royalty payments.

If the CSIRO had not obtained patent protection for this technology, they could have lost a substantial amount of ongoing revenue. Inventors of electrical inventions should keep in mind that they should file a patent application for their technology before making a public disclosure, or using their technology commercially, as this could destroy their ability to get protection for their invention.

Examples of granted electrical engineering patents & electronics patent applications

Computer hardware
AU Patent # 2007209808
Networking hardware element to couple computer network elements and method of displaying a network layout map thereon

Belkin International, Inc.

Control systems
AU Patent # 2016244313
Fluid flow control devices and systems, and methods of flowing fluids therethrough

Flowserve Management Company

Fixed and wireless communications systems
AU Patent # 2017202093
Industrial wireless communication system

SMC Corporation

Gaming and lottery systems
AU Patent # 2018200480
Card disposal system for table game

Angel Playing Cards Co., Ltd.

Electronic transaction terminals and networks
AU Patent # 2016228301
Methods, system and apparatus for point of sale transactions

eBay Inc.

Electric motors
AU Patent # 2016247136
Direct current electric motor

Cominfo, A.S.

Electro-mechanical devices
AU Patent # 2016202699
Electro-mechanical chest compression device

Zoll Circulation, Inc.

Environmental and process sensors
AU Patent # 2012380769
Intraocular pressure measuring and/or monitoring system with inertial and/or environmental sensor

Sensimed SA

Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence
AU Patent # 2016234974
Real time organization pulse gathering and analysis using machine learning and artificial intelligence

Accenture Global Solutions Limited

Navigation and location services
AU Patent # 2018101103
Augmented reality (AR) based indoor navigation application

Chen, Peng MR; Chen, Tao MR; Chen, Yunan MR

Power systems
AU Patent # 2016219560
High efficiency power production methods, assemblies, and systems

8 Rivers Capital, LLC

Robotics and automation
AU Patent # 2016286308
Robotic process automation

Accenture Global Services, Ltd.

Semiconductor devices
AU Patent # 2017248560
Semiconductor device and manufacturing method for the semiconductor device

Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha

Signal processing
AU Patent # 2017204606
Audio signal processing device, audio signal processing method, and audio signal processing program

NTT DoCoMo, Inc.

Human computer interaction
AU Patent # 2015248794
System, method and computer program product for handling humanoid robot interaction with human

Softbank Robotics Europe

Communications protocols
AU Patent # 2017100411
Content-based W Internet channel communication protocol routing algorithm

Tongji University

AU Patent # 2017101732
Telecommunications network mapping

Teletech Pty Ltd.

Weapons systems
AU Patent # 2012367273
Communication and control of accessories mounted on the power rail of a weapon

Prototype Productions, Inc.