A patent is granted to protect the intellectual property right pertaining to new creations and inventions which are useful, inventive, or innovative. The new creations or inventions should not be disclosed to the public prior to filing the patent application. If the creation or invention is already disclosed before the application is made for the grant of the patent protection, the patent is considered to be ‘not new’ and the application for the patent may not succeed. If your application for patent succeeds, you get a monopoly for a period of 20 years (standard patent) or 8 years (innovative) in Australia.
A standard patent is suitable for a new creation while innovative patent is granted if you have made improvements on an existing creation. The monopoly of patent is granted to use the creation or invention provided it is a new device, substance, method, or process. The patent of a creation or invention grants patent holder the right to stop competitors from creating similar products.
You can make a patent application to IP Australia by following the patent application process in Australia. You have to file for either a ‘provisional patent application’ lasting for 12 months, followed by a ‘complete patent application’ or straight away by filing a ‘complete patent application’. ‘Provisional patent application’ is required to be filed for 12 months to ensure that the patent is still required for the new invention or creation and someone else has not been granted patent for the similar invention. It is important to avoid any public disclosure of the invention prior to filing a patent application, as this may jeopardise your ability to obtain valid patent protection. Provisional application is advantageous as it gives opportunity to add new features or material to the disclosure for the further development to the invention during that 12 months period. Time is of the essence in case of a patent application. The patent granted is enforceable. In the event of two competitors applying for similar patent, IP Australia gives priority on ‘first come, first serve’ basis.