Intellectual Property

Do you need to register a trademark?  Enforce copyright?  Licence someone to use your product?  We can help you and your business protect its intellectual property.

Contact us, or browse some frequently asked questions below.

Intellectual Property Frequently Asked Questions

Patents

Question: "Can I patent this idea?"

Answer: There are a number of hurdles before an idea can be patented.  The key issues include:

  • Does the idea constitute "a manner of manufacture" for the purposes of the Patents Act 1990?
  • Is it novel?
  • Does it involve an "inventive step"?
  • Is it useful?
  • Has it been used (whether or not in secret) prior to an application for registration (other than for reasonable trial and experiment or was disclosed subject expressly to confidentiality)?

Trade marks

Question: "Do trade marks have to be registered?"

Answer: It is possible to have a trade mark that the law will protect without registration under the Trade Marks Act 1995 (C'th).  In general, this can only be done if the owner can show that there is already established goodwill associated with the trade mark.  The process of establishing a breach can be more difficult.

Question: "I have already got a registered business name so why would I consider registering a trade mark?"

Answer: Only words can be registered as business names, not logos, shapes or, as can be done under the Trade Marks Act 1995 (C'th), smells.  In addition, the system of business names was established to enable consumers and other people dealing with a business to be able to find out with whom they are dealing.  It does not provide a mechanism for going to Court to sue someone.  The Business Names Act 1962 (Vic) applies to a "business name", which is in the nature of a mark for the owner rather than a trade mark that applies to the product.  Finally, business names have to be registered in each State or Territory, unlike trade marks that are registered by a Commonwealth body (IP Australia).

Warning

These FAQs do not constitute legal advice, and are subject to this website's terms of use.


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    Tuesday, 5 June 2012
    If you use a name for your business which is different from your company name, it must be registered.

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Setting up a business