Intellectual Property Law


A patent is granted to protect the intellectual property right pertaining to new creations and inventions which are useful, inventive, or innovative.

Mendis & Gibson Lawyers

Patent Lawyers Melbourne and Essendon

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.

Mendis & Gibson Lawyers

Who can apply for a patent protection?

Any legally recognised person such as an individual, partnership, company or a government entity can apply for a patent to be granted to protect their new or novel creation of an invention or creation.

Mendis & Gibson Lawyers

Who can be granted a patent protection?

A valid patent protection can be granted to the inventor or the person who has derived rights to the invention either directly or indirectly from the inventor.

Mendis & Gibson Lawyers

What can be patented?

Patents can be granted for new, useful, and inventive or innovative device, product, or process. For a product or process to be considered as useful the product or process must have a practical application rather than being an artistic or intellectual exercise.

Mendis & Gibson Lawyers

Can I get a worldwide patent of my invention?

Patents have a national scope. Patent rights cannot be obtained for a worldwide protection. You must apply in each country separately to obtain patents in different countries. A patent by IP Australia is only effective in Australian territory.

Mendis & Gibson Lawyers

How do I make a patent application?

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.

Mendis & Gibson Lawyers

What is the duration of the patent granted for and how long does it take to obtain the patent?

A standard patent is granted for 20 years in Australia and similar duration in most countries. The starting year may vary from country to country. An innovation patent lasts for 8 years. It may take anywhere between 2 weeks for an innovation patent to about 4–5 years for a standard patent. The applicant can take steps to influence the time frame for a standard patent to be granted.

Mendis & Gibson Lawyers

How does a patent protect a right holder?

The owner of patent has the right not only to protect the invention from being copied but also to stop others from making, selling, or using the invention or creation, while the patent is in force. A patent owner must also comply with any applicable laws or regulations relating to the patented invention. The patent protection protects against all similar inventions even if they have been made independently. The grant of the patent protection may not provide the right to use or market the invention if such rights infringe the patent rights held by others.

Mendis & Gibson Lawyers

What sort of information must be provided to obtain a patent?

The information provided to obtain a patent includes, clear description of the invention, who the inventor is and, if you are not the inventor, how you are entitled to the invention from the inventor, the problem that the invention seeks to address, how the invention works to address the problem, why the invention is an improvement on earlier attempts to overcome the problem, what are the differences between the invention and what was done in the past, any variations to your preferred implementation of the invention that you might believe to be viable and how you intend to commercialise the invention.

Mendis & Gibson Lawyers

What can I do for patent protection?

A patent is a government granted monopoly unless you can keep its inner workings as a trade secret. It protects your investment of time and resources in the research and development of your invention. A granted patent protection adds value to your invention and boosts your business. By obtaining a granted patent you can derive exclusive benefit from the financial rewards resulting from the commercialisation of the patented invention. You gain monopoly on the invention to make, use or sell, to the exclusion of others. If any party is unauthorised, you can threaten and, if required, bring patent infringement proceedings against an unauthorised use of the invention, stopping their conduct and recover damages or access the profit generated by the other party. Even in its early stages of commercialisation, holding of the patent protection ensures a strong bargaining position when negotiating with potential partners, venture capitalists and licensees.

Mendis & Gibson Lawyers

How can we assist you with your patent application?

We can assist you through the process of obtaining a patent and relieving you from lengthy and cumbersome processes of filing a patent application in Australia or overseas. We can help you to obtain a legally enforceable patent right of ownership for a new, useful, and inventive or innovative device, substance, method, or process. It will ensure your right to exclude another party from using your patented right and adds value for sale or licencing agreements.