We hope to answer some questions you may have concerning Intellectual Property. If you don’t find what you are looking for, please contact us and an experienced consultant will answer your questions within 1 working day.
Q: What is Intellectual Property?
A: Intellectual Property is defined as: “property that results from original creative thought, as patents, copyright material, and trademarks”
Q: What’s the difference between Trademarks and Copyright?
A: A Trademark is the thing that sets your business apart from your competitors. The component that distinguishes your goods/services from other traders.
Such as a name, a logo or a slogan. Copyright is automatic and is normally applied to ‘extensive’ works. This would include books, song lyrics, comprehensive artworks, movie scripts etc.
Q: Must I have an attorney or solicitor to file applications?
A: For trademarks and designs in Australia, No. If you wish to seek patent protection, then yes. Alternatively, we can guide you through the patent application process so that you can file it yourself.
Q: What do the symbols ™ and ® mean?
A: The ™ symbol generally represents that you have a trademark application pending. However, you can use this symbol at any stage before you file an application or after your trademark is registered. The ® symbol represents a registered trademark. In Australia it is a chargeable offence to use this symbol if your trademark is not fully registered.
Q: How long will a trademark be registered for?
A: In most countries a trademark will initially be registered for 10 years and may be renewed each 10 years. Some countries will vary and be registered for a period of 7 years initially.
Q: Who can be the owner of a trademark?
A: Generally speaking the owner of a trademark must be an incorporated body, or an individual/s.
Q: Should I register my trademark in colour or black and white?
A: Ultimately, this is up to you. If the colours of your trademark are synonymous with your business, then you may wish to protect that factor. However, if you are not too concerned with the colour, or you intend on using different colours in the future, it is best to file in black and white. This way, your registration will allow the flexibility of changing colours rather than being ‘locked in’ to certain colours.
Q: Why should I register a trademark?
A: There are many reasons. Firstly, trademark registration will give you exclusive rights to the name/logo etc. By having your name or logo registered you may find your business increases in value. By having the trademark, if or when you sell your business this will add to the price you can ask.
Q: What is a Design?
A: Design registration protects the ‘shape and configuration’ of a product. It protects the way something looks and provides you with the right to stop others stealing that design. For example, if you make furniture you may wish to protect the way a new piece looks.
Q: When should I register a design?
A: BEFORE you release the product into the market place. Once a product or ‘design’ is published in a document, or released into the marketplace you cannot register it and gain exclusive rights. Your request for registration of a new design MUST be filed before the product is published or released.
Q: Who would be the owner of the design?
A: Normally an individual or incorporated body. However, your company could be the registered owner and the actual designer could be listed as the person that ‘designed’ the product. This is common in cases where employees are designing on behalf of their employers.
Q: What is a patent?
A: A patent is the intellectual property of ‘ideas’ and ‘inventions’. If you invent a new product or business method for example, with patent registration you can protect how that invention or method works. To be registrable as a patent, you must be able to explain how the invention works and it must have an actual use.
Q: How long will it take to register a patent?
A: In Australia, it can take a few years to become fully registered. There are a number of checks that must be done to ensure your patent is in fact a patent. The time can be dependent on whether you intend to protect your idea overseas also. There are agreements in place between a number of countries for the purpose of protecting patents.
Q: How long will patent registration last?
A: This is dependant on the type of patent you register. You can register an ‘innovation patent’ in Australia, which is a simpler registration and will last for 8 years maximum. Or, you can register a standard patent, which can give you up to 20 years protection.
Q: When should I begin the patent application?
A: BEFORE the idea or invention is published in any document or made known to anyone in the marketplace. As with designs, once the idea has been released, you can no longer secure registration. If you are unsure of the future success of your invention, we can file a preliminary application, which will give you 12 months to decide whether to file a proper application.
Q: What is a domain name?
A: Basically, a domain name is your Website address – www.name.com for example. It is the name people type into their internet to get directed to your website.
Q: I have registered multiple domain names and want them to go to my Website, can I do that?
A: Yes. Whoever is hosting your website and/or domain names can ‘point’ them all to the same Website.
Q: How do I register a domain name?
A: We can do that for you. Domain names are now quite inexpensive to register. Keep in mind, if you wish to register a .com.au name, the name must match a business or company name you have, a product or service you supply, a trademark you have or somehow match your business activities.
Q: How do I know if the domain name I want is available?
A: Simple. Email us with the domain as the subject and one of our consultants will tell you – FREE of charge! They will also be able to tell you exactly what you need to do in order to become the owner of that domain name.
Q: Can I pay for services with a credit card?
A: Absolutely! For your protection we do not ask you to enter credit card details through our website. Upon receipt of any order through our online ordering system we will issue a tax invoice to the person or company shown in the order, along with details of further information required of you to proceed, and, our payment options form so that you can provide credit card details safely and securely.