You've invented something brilliant. Pat yourself on the back. Now, it's time to safeguard your intellectual property. But how?
Applying for a patent is the answer. It shields your invention from copycats. A patent attorney can help you navigate the process. But first, ask yourself some key questions.
1. Do I need a patent?
Will a patent help you financially? Will it:
Give you a competitive edge?
Allow you to license your invention and earn royalties?
Attract potential investors?
If not, a patent may not be worth your time.
2. Is my invention a secret?
Your invention must be new and inventive. If you've already shared it with others, it could jeopardise your chances of obtaining a patent.
Be careful about disclosing details in person, on social media, or at events. If you've already spilled the beans, let your patent attorney know.
3. Is my invention commercially useful?
Patents are about commercialisation. If you don't plan to profit from your invention, a patent may not be necessary. Instead, consider licensing your idea or partnering with a third party.
4. Are there similar inventions?
Tell your patent attorney about similar inventions in your industry. This helps them evaluate your patent application's chances of success.
Perform a patent search to confirm your invention's novelty. You can use free tools like Google Patents to do so.
Applying for a patent can be daunting, especially for first-timers. Reflect on these questions and seek professional help if needed. IP Australia offers resources to help you find a patent attorney and prepare for your meeting.