Intellectual Property

Protection of intellectual property is all important to business and creative individuals, but often overlooked. The problem is, there is a fair degree of confusion about what “intellectual property” is and that’s before one comes to protecting, enforcing and or defending it and its different types. Some intellectual property rights can depend on registration processed, such as Patents and registered Trademarks. Some just exist at common law, like unregistered trademarks. Some arise and exist under statutes, such as “moral rights” and copyright (though internationally there are differences). Some can really only be best protected (under Australian Law) by using contractual non-disclosure obligations. I am familiar with the many aspects of intellectual property law, from registering your Trademarks, to asserting and enforcing your rights if others copy your brand name and trade off your goodwill and knowing the special Government powers about copyright which can impact on personal and commercial operators. No two businesses are quite the same, so it is important to consider carefully what IP rights a business has, needs or needs to develop. As to trademarks, registration of YOUR TRADEMARK/LOGO as a trademark is a very good means of protecting your business. If you ever have a need to enforce your rights or defend your right to use YOUR TRADEMARK/LOGO, having YOUR TRADEMARK/LOGO registered as a trademark is a great help because it gives statutory enforcement rights, rather than have to rely on clumsy and more expensive common law and other methods. Aside from the actual artwork, the main component parts of the proposed mark are any words (and sometimes sounds) used. Where the words used are common, they are less likely to be acceptable to IP Australia from a distinctiveness point of view because the view of IP Australia is that it will not allow trademark registration to appropriate to a particular individual or business common English words or acronyms. So the logo or artwork is very important to the issue of distinctiveness. With increasing use of “online” businesses, the issue arises of extending Australian protection beyond Australia. That has become easier than previously, with many “overseas” protections now being capably of being applied for through IP Australia but to secure overseas protection. Patents and registered design rights can also be relevant , especially where a person or business is developing new concepts and methodologies. I have advised Australian clients on issues to do with enforcing their rights within Australia and overseas. If you have any queries or wish to discuss any of the above, please contact me through the website or by email