Why do I need to patent my invention?

Newcomers to the world of inventions often find themselves asking the question, “How do I patent my invention?” Without a patent, a new invention is merely an abstract concept without concrete value. A patent provides a legal framework over which to assert single control over your invention, such that copiers cannot go about imitating your invention and profiting from it unfairly.

Who can help me patent my invention?

Recognising the numerous approaches of potential imitators is extremely important to safeguard the functionality of your invention as much as possible from the beginning. Your patent application must therefore be professionally prepared by a patent attorney, as a patent attorney is specifically qualified to represent a patent applicant or patent holder.

Patent attorneys are also able to provide IP advice, handling your IP portfolio from conception to transfer of rights, in addition to acting for clients where an infringement situation has taken place.

How do I patent my invention?

A provisional patent application with your relevant patent office, the Australian patent office being IP Australia, is usually the first form of filing in the patent protection process. The filing of the provisional patent application creates a priority date, back to which any subsequent patent applications may claim priority, effectively making the priority date the first record of your invention having been filed. The provisional patent application also affords you 12 months to develop your invention and refine your patent specification, during which time a patent search is often performed to identify possible relevant prior art. The results of this search are helpful in establishing what modifications to your specification may be needed and how to go about prosecuting your patent application in subsequent stages. Prior to the completion of the 12 month period, you must file a complete application (usually a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application).

The PCT application provides you with the opportunity to obtain patent protection in any of approximately 140 countries which are party to the PCT. Filing a PCT application allows the applicant 30 or 31 months to commercialise their invention before “national phase applications” need to be filed in each country where they wish to obtain patent protection.

Important Disclaimer: The information on this website is not legal or professional advice. The information may:

  1. not be correct;
  2. only relate to the law or practice in a given country; and/or
  3. be outdated.