IP Australia• IP Australia administers the patents, designs, trade marks and Plant Breeders Rights systems.
What is Intellectual Property• Intellectual property represents the property of your mind or intellect. In business terms, this also means your proprietary knowledge.
What is a Patent?• A patent is a right granted for any device, substance, method or process which is new, inventive and useful.• A patent is legally enforceable and gives the owner the exclusive right to commercially exploit the invention for the life of the patent. This is not automatic-you must apply for a patent to obtain exclusive rights to exploit your invention
Example• In 1972, Frank Bannigan, Managing Director of Kambrook, developed the electrical power-board. The product was hugely successful and was the basis for Kambrooks growth to become a major producer of electrical appliances.• However, the power-board was not patented and Kambrook ended up sharing the market with many other manufacturers.• According to Mr Bannigan,• Ive probably lost millions of dollars in royalties alone. Whenever I go into a department store and see the wide range of power- boards on offer, it always comes back to haunt me.
Examples of Australian• Bishops Steering Gear• Cochlears Bionic Ear• Dynamic Lifter• Orbital Engine• Hills Hoist• Victa Lawn Mower• Shepherd Castors• Hume Pipes• Automatic Totalizator• Sunshine Stripper Harvester• Refrigeration in 1868
What is copyright?• Copyright protects the original expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves. It is free and automatically safeguards your original works of art and literature, music, films, sound recording, broadcasts and computer programs from copying and certain other uses. Copyright is not registered in Australia.• Depending on the material, copyright for literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works generally lasts 70 years from the year of the authors death or from the year of first publication after the authors death.
What is a trademark?• A trade mark can be a letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, aspect of packaging or any combination of these.• It is used to distinguish goods and services of one trade from those of another. This means you cant register a trade mark that directly describes your goods (e.g. radios) and services (e.g. electrician).
Famous Australians Trademarks• Arnotts• Mortein• Penfolds• Qantas• Redheads• Vegemite• Weet-bix
What is a registered design?• A design relates to the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation which, when applied to a product, gives the product a unique appearance. A registered design can be a valuable commercial asset - registration of a design gives the owner protection for the visual appearance of the product but not how the product works.
Registered Design Examples• Electric Jug• Ken Done Bedlinen• Sebel Metal Frame Chair• A Folding Chair• A Dunlop Tyre• Speedos• Canvas Chair• Metal Fencing• Portable Cooler• Squatters Chair
Confidentiality/ Trade Secrets• A trade secret is both a type of IP and a strategy for protecting your IP.• A confidentiality agreement is often used to stop employees from revealing your secret or proprietary knowledge during and after their employment or association with your business.• Make sure you back up your trade secret with signed confidentiality agreements with every person who has knowledge of the secret.• If an agreement is breached, you will have evidence of what was agreed and protection through the law.
• A trade secret strategy is appropriate when its difficult to copy the construction, manufacturing process or formulation from the product itself; that is when reverse engineering is unlikely.