You’ve done the hard work, shed the blood, sweat and tears. You’ve tested, polished, prototyped, test run and beta’d till you can’t beta no more… it’s finally time to take your idea to market. But have you protected your intellectual property? Before commercialis
ing your product, it is important to patent your idea to ensure it stays yours and you can protect it should it be copied or challenged.
When Is The Right Time to File a Patent Application?
You can risk the loss of your intellectual property at any stage of the development process. Unless you are a sole inventor, you have most likely consulted with staff or third parties on the development or manufacture of your idea. It is necessary to have these people sign confidentiality agreements if you have not yet filed a patent application.
If you discuss or demonstrate your idea in public, you open up the risk of being unable to obtain patent protection in many countries. Grace periods do exist in some countries, however, they should not be relied upon as they are limited. Lodge your patent application prior to taking your idea public in any form.
Can Something Be Patented Before It Is Launched?
Absolutely. In fact, filing a patent application for your idea after launch is a very risky move. As part of examining your patent application, a search will be done to ensure it is patentable. To be patentable it must be tested against three factors:
- Is it a new idea?
- Is it obvious?
- Is it legally relevant for a patent?
To put a product to market or publish details of the product will make details of the product public knowledge, and will no longer be considered a new idea. While grace periods do exist in Australia and the US, most other jurisdictions do not allow public disclosure of an invention prior to filing.
Should I Worry About The Timing of The Registration?
The timing of the filing of your patent application is vital to ensure it’s able to be properly protected.
The grace period of 12 months offered by IP Australia is only applicable under certain circumstances and should not be relied upon. While countries such as the USA, Japan and Canada offer similar grace periods, many other global jurisdictions do not and therefore no leeway can be offered if you miss out on filing for patent protection overseas. Prior to taking your idea public, proactively seek the right advice in patent protection.
Need a Patent Registered? Contact Kings IP today!
We are experts in the local and international patent application requirements and processes. If you have intellectual property that needs protecting, speak to us today at Kings IP to ensure you are covered.