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Glossary Terms.

The applicant is the party who files an application for a patent, trade mark, or registered design. An applicant may be an individual, a company, or a group of individuals and/or companies, who owns the rights to the intellectual property contained in the application. These rights can be assigned or licenced. 

Some applications (apps), or the components and systems that power apps, may be eligible for intellectual property protection in Australia. A patent may be granted for novel or inventive apps that meet Australia’s requirements for patentable subject matter.

A patent attorney or a trade marks attorney is a professional who is authorised to practice in the area of patents or trade marks.

The Australian Designs Office assesses applications, registers and certifies design rights, and oversees IP protection of new and distinctive designs. 

Australian patents offer control and protection over a product for a 20 year period from the date of application. A patent can protect a product that is new, useful and involves the use of an inventive step.

The Patent Office is responsible for the examination of all patent applications within Australia.

The Australian Trade Marks Office controls the application and grant of trade marks within Australia. 

Biochemical and other organic chemistry inventions and products are generally considered patentable. 

Bioinformatics is the use of technology to analyse and organise biological data. Bioinformatic tools and inventions are subject to complex intellectual property protection, but are generally patentable. 

Business methods that involve a physical device or invention to bring about a useful product may be protected with patents. Patentable business methods must be new, inventive and involve a technical advancement.  Business method inventions are subject to complex eligibility criteria.

Patent claims determine the scope of protection offered by patents. Claims are written in a highly legalistic manner. 

As a member of the Paris Convention, Australia offers priority to intellectual property applications made in accordance with the convention. Applicants who file for protection in a convention country can claim priority when applying for protection in other member countries.

Copyright is a form of automatic intellectual property protection which establishes exclusive rights to the copyrighted material and control of how the material is used. Copyright protects the original expression of the idea, but not the idea itself.

The features of a trademark are deceptively similar to an existing intellectual property if the similarities are likely to confuse the public. Deceptively similar trademarks may be intended to trick consumers into purchasing products and can damage the reputation of the genuine brand.

Registrable design features refer to new and distinctive features that give a product its unique design. Design features include the shape, pattern or ornamentation of the product. Designs must be both new and distinctive to be registrable in Australia.

The domain name is the unique internet protocol address controlled by an entity. A domain name can be trademarked where it is used to distinguish the goods and services of the owners from the goods and services of others.

A domestic patent grants the holder exclusive rights to exploit their invention for a fixed period of time within the designated national territory. Most countries offer legal provisions for domestic patents, with patent holders needing to register in each individual territory.

The examination process assesses patents, trade marks and designs to ensure they meet the requirements for protection under Australia’s intellectual property laws. Properties are examined by the relevant Office, resulting in either an Adverse Report or a Notice of Acceptance.

The filing date is the date on which a patent application is submitted to IP Australia in full. The filing date is used for a number of things, including defining the start of the patent term, calculating fees and defining the priority date.

ICT Patents are a group of patents that fall into the areas of Information, Communications and Technology. These patents are among the most common in the world, covering devices and methods such as computers, software, hardware and communications technologies.

When one party uses the Intellectual Property (including patents, trade marks and registered designs) owned by another party without their permission, they are said to have infringed on the IP holders’ rights. Infringement can be intentional or unintentional, but the infringer will be liable for damages in either case.

An innovation patent is a type of patent that protects relatively minor advancements in existing technology. This protects products and processes that demonstrate incremental innovations which improve the functionality of a product or process.

For a device or method to be patentable, it will typically be required to demonstrate an innovative step. An innovative step is any part of the technology, process or ideas that is deemed to exceed common knowledge or prior art that existed in Australia. Innovative steps are a critical part of innovation patents.

Intellectual Property (IP) is a term that refers to a class of intangible assets that can be owned and traded by an entity. Typical examples of IP include patents, registered designs, copyright and trade marks. IP protections generally grant legal rights to the use and exploitation of new, innovative and inventive IP.

An invention is any device or method that is novel or offers innovative ideas or functions. Invention is assessed in a variety of ways, such as how new the concept is to the open market, or on the technical advancements and merits it offers. In most cases, a device is considered an invention if it is eligible for patent protection.

Some types of patent require that the subject of the patent includes an inventive step. A device or method is taken to include an inventive step where the innovation is non-obvious to a person skilled in the field. That is, inventiveness is determined by whether a skilled person could have arrived at the same invention based on prior or common knowledge.

A patent is a legal right granted over an original invention relating to a device, substance, method or process. 

For a patent to be granted, an invention must be new, useful, and inventive. Patents can be held for many inventions, and there is no requirement for the invention to be a significant breakthrough or a complex solution.  Many patents are held for inventions that make small or simple improvements that ultimately deliver significant benefits. 

Patents are jurisdictional – an Australian patent will only offer protection within Australia. For international IP protection, patent holders can file for an international patent under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Applicants are then able to elect the jurisdiction they wish to pursue from more than 150 countries including the United States, Canada, Europe, China and Japan. 

Patents give the owner exclusive rights to exploit and commercialise their invention for up to 20 years. During this time, you can also licence or assign your invention.  In conjunction with your patent application, we often recommend filing a trade mark associated with your patent. This can help create a recognisable brand that will distinguish your invention even after your 20 year monopoly expires. 

Book a complimentary consultation today. Our registered patent and trade marks attorneys are bound by confidentiality so you know your invention is in safe hands.  

Design registration is a type of protection granted over the physical appearance, shape, ornamentation, configuration or pattern of a product. It is important to note that a design registration protects only the unique appearance of a product, not the functionality. If your invention has both a distinct appearance and a unique function, we recommend that you consider filing for both patent and design protection.

A registered design entitles the owner to exclusive use of the design. In order to commence infringement proceedings against anyone who commercialises the product without authorisation, a registered design will need to be certified by the Australian Designs Office. 

Australian design registration protects the owner throughout Australia. Designers who wish to protect their design internationally will need to file individual registrations with foreign Design or Patent Offices. Not all countries handle design registrations in the same way, so it is important to check that your design is eligible for registration in other countries before filing.

Speak with the team at Kings about which IP protection is right for you. 

Trade marks provide a method for identifying goods or services associated with a particular business. A trade mark can be registered for words, slogans, logos, packaging, colours, shapes, sounds, smells or a combination of these elements.

 The registration of an Australian trade mark grants you exclusive rights to use that mark for your goods and services in Australia. To be registrable, trade marks must satisfy two major requirements. First, they need to be capable of distinguishing one trader’s goods and services from others. Second, the trade mark cannot be substantially identical or deceptively similar to earlier trade marks for the same goods and services. 

A registered Australian trade mark grants protection in all states and territories indefinitely, provided renewal fees are paid every 10 years. 

The Registered Patent & Trade Marks attorneys at Kings can help protect your Trade Mark at all stages –  from filing to prosecution and maintenance. Kings can also assist with enforcement of your rights against third parties. 

Book a free consultation today.