Intellectual Property Law

Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys Australia and New Zealand

IP Protection - Patents

A patent protects systems, methods, devices or substances (chemical compositions) that are new, inventive and useful. By protecting how your system, method or device operates and functions, you can protect your competitive advantage since a patent provides a monopoly right to the owner to exclusively exploit granted patent rights.

The attorneys at Murray Trento & Associates Pty Ltd can advise you how to best obtain and make use of patent rights in Australia, New Zealand and overseas.

A patent is a valuable piece of commercial property.

A patent provides the owner with the exclusive right to exploit an invention in exchange for publicly disclosing the invention in a patent specification.

Two types of patents are available in Australia:

1. Standard Patents

The life of a standard patent is 20 years. There are four main requirements for an invention to be considered patentable in so far as standard patents are concerned. The invention must be:

  • Novel – an invention is generally considered new or novel if, before the priority date, it has never been disclosed in any form, anywhere in the world;
  • Inventive – an invention is generally considered inventive if it is not considered obvious by those with knowledge in the field of the invention at the priority date;
  • A Manner of Manufacture – inventions must involve a manner of manufacture. For example, inventions that constitute an artistic creation, mathematical model, plan, scheme, non-functional shape or other purely mental process is not patentable; and
  • Industrially Applicable – inventions must be capable of being industrially applied.

Standard patents are examined to ensure that each of these criteria are met.

2. Innovation Patents

Innovation patents are subject to a lower threshold test for patentability in that the invention claimed must be new and “innovative”, as opposed to “inventive”.

Innovation patents proceed directly through to grant, and examination may be requested by the applicant or by a third party at any time throughout the 8-year life of the innovation patent.

An innovation patent is typically recommended for inventions considered below the inventiveness threshold for a standard patent, and which have a short market life expectancy.