Patents protect your inventions. They protect how an invention works or functions. You cannot patent your idea. Indeed, a patent is a right granted by registration with IP Australia for any method, process, device or substance. Patents must be new, have an inventive step and be useful.
There are two types of patent:
1. Standard patent: A standard patent must have an inventive step. This means that it is not obvious for someone in the relevant field to invent. It also must differ from technology which already exists. Once registered it has a life of 20 years.
2. Innovation patent: A innovation patent must have an innovative step. This means that your invention must be different to technology that already exists, but that difference may simply be a further development. Once registered it has a life of 8 years. However, these patents are ending and the deadline to file one is 25 August 2021.
Registration and certification
Once your patent application has been filed it will then be looked at by IP Australia to determine whether it meets with the relevant criteria. It will then be ‘granted’. An innovation patent cannot be enforced unless it has been examined.
The next step is examination. This must be done for a standard patent but is optional for an innovation patent.
Then if the innovation patent passes the IP Australia tests it will be ‘certified’. Standard patents do not require this certification.
It is important to note this information does not represent legal advice and you should seek specific legal advice for your circumstances. We recommend Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors to help with your trade mark registration.
This article originally appeared on Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors.