Patents protect inventions from being copied by providing the patent owner with the exclusive right to exploit an invention. Successful and innovative businesses use patents to protect their investments in research and innovation and to charge a premium for their products and services. Using the patent system sends a signal to customers that products and services offered by a business are innovative and superior to their competitors.
Obtaining patent protection can be affordable and patent strategies can be developed that get the best possible value for money. Failing to obtain patent protection allows competitors to copy new and innovative ideas and products. The fastest growing and most successful companies use patent protection as a key part of their business strategy.
A patent that is prepared well with the assistance of an experienced patent attorney may have a broad scope and be difficult for a competitor to avoid. A good patent can be very valuable and can add significantly to the assets of a business. Investors can be reassured if their investment in a business or an idea is supported by patent protection.
Patents are different from Registered Designs and Copyright. A patent protects how an invention works and is not limited to one specific form or embodiment.
The patent process usually starts with filing a Provisional Patent Application. Within twelve months after filing the Provisional Patent Application one or more further patent applications are filed, such as an Australian Standard Patent Application or Innovation Patent Application, or an International Patent Application (sometimes referred to as a ‘PCT Application’) if overseas patent protection is sought. Ultimately, a Patent Application must be filed in each country in which patent protection is to be obtained. We are experienced in drafting and filing patent specifications on behalf of our clients suitable for Australian and overseas Patent Applications.
Patent applications undergo an examination procedure to determine whether an invention is deserving of protection. Characteristics of the patent application and the invention are considered such as whether the patent specification satisfies legal requirements, whether the invention is novel (i.e. new) and involves an inventive step (i.e. is not obvious) when compared with what is already in the public domain (i.e. the prior art base). As experienced Patent Attorneys we assist clients in prosecuting Patent Applications through the examination process both in Australia and, with the assistance of our foreign associates, overseas.
Patents must be renewed by the payment of maintenance fees to the Patent Office of each country where a Patent has been sought. Maintenance fees may be due annually or on a multi year basis. The failure to pay a maintenance fee by a deadline can result in substantial late fees or even irrevocable lapsing of a Patent. We monitor these deadlines and provide timely reminders to ensure that these fees are paid on time providing peace of mind and security for our clients.
A grace period of 12 months is available in some jurisdictions such as Australia, the United States of America and Canada if an inventor has disclosed their invention before filing a patent application.
A granted patent gives the owner the exclusive right to exploit an invention, that is to manufacture, use, sell or import the invention. These rights can be held by the owner who may exploit the invention themselves with the protection from competition that the patent provides. These rights can be licensed to others, such as to a manufacturer or distributor. A patent may be sold outright or the right to exploit a patent may be divided up and sold or licensed on a geographical basis.
We work with our clients throughout the patent process to assist them to determine their preferred commercialisation strategy and to implement the strategy with appropriate license or other agreement documents and advice.
Upon becoming aware of the existence of an infringing product or service, the patent owner may take enforcement action against the infringer. Patent enforcement is generally a civil matter which means that legal action must be taken if a negotiated settlement cannot be reached with the infringer. Remedies for patent infringement can include an injunction to stop the infringing activity, financial compensation, destruction of infringing products and undertakings from the infringer not to infringe in the future. The vast majority of infringement disputes settle or otherwise never reach the courts.
As Patent Attorneys and IP lawyers, Gestalt are able to give specialist advice and assistance in relation to the enforcement of patents against an infringer. We also assist clients in defence against patent infringement action.
For more information on Patents see Patents – An Overview
Gestalt Patent Services:
- Strategic assessment of your technology.
- Drafting new patent applications.
- Prosecuting patent applications to grant in Australia, New Zealand and overseas.
- Strategic advice on IP and patent protection.
- Patent Validity and Infringement advice.
- Patent infringement proceedings including enforcement and defence.
- Patent Oppositions.