What we do:
- Preparing and filing patent and design applications
- Prosecuting applications through to grant, including reviewing prior patents or designs and overcoming examiner objections to registrability
- Advising on issues of infringement, validity and registrability of patents and designs
- Conducting searches for similar inventions and designs
- Enforcing patent and design rights against infringers
- Responding to allegations of infringement made by other rights holders
What are patents and design registrations?
Patents and design registrations are bundles of legal rights afforded exclusively to the owner. These rights enable the owner to prevent others from making, using, selling, hiring, licensing, or importing products or processes which are the subject of protection, or to obtain remuneration where such breaches have already taken place. There is a difference between the two rights granted.
Patents protect the new usefulness of a product or process against copying by competitors. Patents may be granted for products or processes which are new or improved, and not obvious in light of that which has been done previously.
Design registrations protect the new look of a product against copying by competitors. Valid registrations may be achieved for products which have a distinctive new visual appearance in comparison to prior designs.
Who may apply?
An inventor of a novel product or process, or a person or company to which the inventor’s rights are transferred (e.g. an employer or assignee), may apply for patent or designs protection.
Where are you protected?
Patents and design registrations provide protection against infringing acts taking place in the countries in which they are registered. Thus, whilst in the case of patents it is possible to file applications that initially cover the majority of countries worldwide, it is necessary to register patents and designs in each of the countries that you wish to receive protection. In this regard, EKM has a worldwide network of experienced attorneys who we are able to work in close cooperation with to achieve your foreign protection needs.
When should you apply?
Applications for patents and designs should be filed prior to making any non-confidential disclosures of the novel product or process (although there is a 12-month self-disclosure grace period for patents in Australia). For designs, it is generally preferable to lodge an application once the final commercial design has been settled upon, as it is the specific look of the design that will be protected. For patents, it is generally preferable to lodge an application once the inventive concept is developed to a point that skilled persons in the relevant technical field would be able to reduce the concept to a practical form without any undue effort or further inventing required on their part.
What are your options for protection?
If you feel that patents or design registrations may be important for protecting your innovations, please don’t hesitate to call us and arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your options and their suitability for protection.
Each member of the EKM patent and trade marks team is a member of The Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia the peak professional body representing Australian patent and trademark attorneys.