Patent Lawyers Sydney

Sydney's Expert Patent Lawyers

When it comes to safeguarding your intellectual property rights, patent registration plays a crucial role in protecting your innovations and ideas. Our team of specialist patent lawyers and attorneys make up one of Sydney’s most knowledgeable intellectual property firms.

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Speak with Our Highly Experienced Sydney-Based Patent Lawyers

We are dedicated to providing you with comprehensive advice and the necessary assistance for patent registration, dispute resolution, and litigation if needed. We understand the importance of safeguarding your innovations and will ensure that you receive expert guidance to secure your intellectual property rights. Led by Nicholas Milne, Actuate IP Patents are one of Australia’s leading patent attorney services, ensuring you successfully navigate Australian and international patent law matters.

Patent Design

What is a patent, and what exactly does it protect?

Patents are designed to protect new inventions, giving the inventor exclusive rights to what they have created. This means that other people or businesses can’t copy the idea, use the patented item or profit from it without permission from the person who initially created it for the life of the patent.

What isn't eligible to be patented?

Lots of things aren’t eligible. The list of what can be patented is limited to specific products, pharmaceutical drugs, business processes and software programs, as well as a few other items.

There are many other ways that your work can be protected, though, such as trade marks and copyright law – so it’s worth exploring other options to safeguard your intellectual property if a patent isn’t suitable. Patent and trade mark law have similarities but are different processes that cover different types of IP.

Sketches Patents

What types of patents are available?

Provisional Patents

A provisional patent gives you one year of legal protection for your patented item. It can be helpful when you aren’t quite ready to file a Standard Patent and does not require the same examination as a Standard Patent. The benefit of having one in place is that you can go public with your idea once approved. It also gives you the right to use a ‘patent pending’ status for 12 months after filing. Costs are lower than with a Standard patent, and it gives you some time to explore the commercial viability of your patented item.

If you do not file a Standard Patent before your provisional patent expires, it is generally considered an ‘abandoned’ patent. If you are granted a Standard Patent before your Provisional expires, the grant date of your Provisional Patent and the application number will carry over to your Standard Patent. It’s vital to define your scope properly in a Provisional Patent, though, which is something an experienced patent attorney will see to.

The ‘Priority Date’ of a Patent is important too. It’s the date of lodgement, in simpler terms. This is the exact date that is referenced to see if it was new on that date. So, if you file in January and it can be shown that it was never seen before March of the same year, your patent will stand. If you file in May that year, it won’t. That’s why filing a patent as soon as possible is a good idea if you are serious about protecting your item.

You aren’t protected from the day you file until your application is successful – because applications can take time to process. Your application will be given priority to other similar applications, though, and legal protections are granted when your patent is granted.

Standard Patents

A Standard Patent in Australia is a long-term legal protection for your intellectual property, generally lasting twenty years from the date of application. Some pharmaceutical innovations may last 25 years, and Innovation patents hold an eight-year protection.

Standard Patents can be filed after a Provisional Patent is granted or as the first application. Your item or process must be examined to be given a complete patent. The Patent Office will manage this, and it usually happens between one and two years of filing. Different expert groups of examiners examine different types of patents, and their workload can influence the examination timeline.

There are reporting requirements throughout this time, and any objections by examiners must be overcome for a successful application outcome. Patent attorneys can guide you through these steps and ensure you are suitably prepared for patent applications, examinations and any objections.

Innovation Patents

Innovation patents, considered tier-two patents, are no longer available in Australia. Smaller businesses frequently used it but are now being phased out by the Federal Government.

The phase-out period began on August 26th, 2021, and will be finalised in 2029. This means that Innovation Patents filed in early 2021 and prior are still relevant but are no longer being processed.

How does the patent system work in Australia?

If you have an idea that is new and original that others can easily copy, you can make an application for your innovation to be patented. The process often starts with a search of existing patents, and you may opt to complete a PSO (preliminary search and opinion) to get an idea of if the invention is worth patenting. From here, you can apply for a Provisional Patent or a Standard Patent, and if it is successful, you will be granted patent rights.

There is a lot more to the processes than this, though! Putting an application together is a big task, and there are fees for applications and additional ones for errors and omissions. There are more processes to consider if you are considering filing your patent overseas too.

Patent System Office

Our Sydney Patent Lawyers

Nicholas Milne
Principal | Patent Attorney @ Actuate Patents

A selection of the clients we have worked with

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Effortless Patent Coordination with Actuate IP

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Free Initial Consultation

Arrange a complimentary initial consultation with our Legal Project Manager to explore how we can support you. This session entails no commitment on your part.

Step #2
Transparent Proposal

You will be provided with a transparent fixed fee proposal detailing all costs associated with the proposed actions. Our commitment to transparency ensures clarity throughout.

Step #3
Review and Confirm

Following the proposal review, we'll meet with you to address any remaining details or queries. Once everything is settled, we will proceed with the agreed-upon plan.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Patent Lawyers Sydney

What are the requirements for patent eligibility?

To start with, what you want to patent must be deemed ‘patentable’. It needs to be new and in a category that patents cover, like a medical device or manufacturing method. Some items cannot be patented, like a mathematical concept or may fall instead under copyright law, for instance, an artwork.

It can’t already be publicly known – which means if it’s already out there in the world or you’ve shown it at a trade fair, it would not be deemed eligible for a Patent.

It must be inventive, which can be subjective to many – but it’s essential.

It must be useful, and a credible purpose must be shown.

It can’t have been sold or used before, which leads back to the new and novelty aspect.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider, which is why trade mark attorneys are so helpful to work with early on.

How can a patent lawyer help me to navigate the patent filing process?

Patents are a complex area of intellectual property law, and the guidelines frequently change. Having a knowledgeable patent attorney working with you from the outset can save you a lot of time and money, which could otherwise be lost to errors or incorrect interpretations of the laws.

Our team can help you with patent searches and applications and ensure you have the information on the technical areas of patent law before running into any issues.

Do I Need International Protection?

If you require overseas patent protections, working with an intellectual property law firm with a good understanding of international I.P. protection is a good idea. Our firm works with a network of I.P. attorneys worldwide, and we understand the various requirements for patent applications in different countries. A global strategy is something our highly qualified patent and trademark attorneys specialise in. We start by comparing the short and long-term outcomes of an Australian Patent for your innovation and look at the necessity for protection in other countries.

It’s very much worth obtaining an International Patent if your trademarked item is highly likely profitable in other countries, even if your original plan was to use your innovation or item in Australian markets only.

It can greatly impact the valuation of your patent or business if sold too. For instance, you may start out wanting to sell consumer products here and organise a patent, trade mark applications and other Australian I.P. law protections, being unsure of your invention’s viability. It may take off in a way you didn’t expect, and you suddenly realise there is an exceptional international market for it. By this stage, someone else (or many others in different countries) may have registered patent and trade marks for the product you came up with, leaving you liable for prosecution for infringement if you market your invention in those countries or have to licence your own intellectual property to do so.

At the same time, you don’t necessarily want to invest in international patenting if you’re not even sure your idea is viable. The other consideration is that it’s not as easy as getting a ‘global’ patent covering all bases, which is why it’s so important to get clear advice early on.

The PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) system was introduced in 1970 to help counteract the difficulty in this area, with a single application providing patent protection in 157 as of the time of writing. This means that there are still around 40 countries not participating in the PCT.