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Do I Need to Hire a Patent Attorney?
Protecting your inventions with patents is one of the most important business decisions you can make. A professional patent attorney Australia wide can help you obtain the protection you need locally and overseas.
Especially if you intend to manufacture or sell your invention, obtaining a patent means you’ll have exclusive rights to your ideas. So, applying for a patent is important, but do you need to hire a patent attorney to help out? In this article, we’ll look at the ins and outs of obtaining a patent in Australia and whether you need to hire professional legal representation.
Protecting Your IP with a Patent
Patents are a type of intellectual property protection. They cover unique ideas and inventions that haven’t been seen or used previously. An Australian patent grants you the exclusive right to manufacture, sell, license, and commercially exploit your ideas. For that reason, patents have the potential to be incredibly valuable, and obtaining patents for emerging ideas can be very competitive.
Your patent effectively gives you an exclusive monopoly over your ideas. During the 20 years that your patent is active, you’ll be able to enforce your claim and stop competitors from copying your ideas. That also means you can’t obtain a patent with a poorly formulated application. Australian patent applications require significant detail, and the way the information is presented can make a big difference in whether or not the application is accepted.
You don’t need to hire a patent attorney in Australia if you don’t want to. It’s perfectly legal to draft and file your patent applications with IP Australia. IP Australia offers a guide on applying for a patent, or you can also find help with patent drafting services.
While there’s no requirement to hire a patent attorney, professional help can significantly increase the chances of your patent application being successful. New ideas are often hard to come by, meaning it’s common for multiple parties to develop the same inventions simultaneously.
The first party to patent their invention will have a monopoly. That means it’s imperative that your patent application is prepared and filed correctly. Small errors or missing information can lead to your patent being rejected, so it’s always useful to seek the help of a professional patent attorney.
Obtaining a Patent in Australia
Drafting and managing your patent application can be incredibly complex. This is especially true if your invention exists in a competitive or highly technical industry. As part of the process, you’ll be required to provide in-depth information about your invention that an in-industry expert will review. The way you present this information, and the supporting evidence you provide can make all the difference in whether your application is successful or not.
Therefore, many companies and inventors choose to work with a patent attorney. When you work with an attorney, they’ll guide you through Australia’s patent process by:
- Performing a search for existing patents or inventions in the jurisdictions where you seek a patent.
- Helping you decide which type of patent you want and whether a provisional patent is required.
- Helping you draft your application using the right terminology, format, and supporting evidence.
- Guiding you through the examination process and helping to address any issues raised by the assessor or a competitor.
- Paying your fees so that your patent can finally be granted.
Professional help is significant if any issues are raised during the examination phase. Defending against claims by IP Australia or competing inventors can be very complex on your own. A professional attorney is in the best position to formulate a defense and defeat any challenges.
How a Patent Attorney Can Help You
Successfully obtaining a patent can be a challenge. Meeting the requirements and providing sufficient evidence is much simpler with the help of a patent attorney Australia wide. If your invention has commercial value, or if you’re looking to sell your ideas for profit, a patent attorney can help with the following:
- Determining whether your design is patentable;
- Searching existing patent brochures;
- Drafting your application;
- Defending against claims by competitors;
- Protecting against issues that arise during the examination;
- Paying the application and maintenance fees;
- Obtaining international patent protection;
- Managing your portfolio to prevent patents from lapsing.
While hiring a patent attorney will cost you more, the money you save on failed applications means it’s well worth the expense. Failing to obtain a patent could have major consequences for your business. If you want to avoid that, it’s always a good idea to rely on professional help.