If you would like to find out more about Patents & Trademarks and perhaps try some searching yourself here are some important links.Patent searching - USA Patents & Trademarks Office - Google Patent Search - European Patent Office - Esp@cenet covers multiple countries - International Patent Classification (IPC) - IP Australia - click Trademarks - Madrid Express Database Australian Trad3e Mark On-line search System (ATMOSS)Australian Business Name registrations "Intellectual Property Explorer"
Intellectual property is more important for the small guy than a big company because it is often all you have to bargain with - a large company with existing distribution channels can be out there moving product before you have even started the long journey to try and reach the customer.
A Trademark is a means of distinguishing your product or service from others. This can be a brand name or logo, but can also take in colours sound smells and other things.If you are going to build a brand name you had better consider protecting it, and also before you get rolling you need to check that your choice does not infringe some other soul 'out there' who may take you to task. For this reason, a proper search should be done to check for potential infringement.We have had clients in this country who have established sound brand names an logos here only to find they cannot use these in some other countries. Packaging, websites etc can wind up having to be trashed trying to cope with this situation. See some of the links below for more information on the various treaties that apply to different world regions.
Confidentiality agreements can also be used. The more people in the 'know' the greater the risk - 'loose lips sink ships' and you don't want a hole in your boat. Strategies for Protection by other meansThere are many additional means that allow you to brace yourself against others 'out there'.Talk to us about this issue. We specialise in ‘other’ approaches to to protection.If you are an inventor or product developer we can help you with your project.
Normally we send a client off to Patent Attorney to have a Patent and/or Registered Design search carried out.We want full copies of anything that looks 'close' - as useful background information can flow from this including potential distributors, potential purchasers of Intellectual Property (IT), the Product. or license. The results will tell you who, if anybody, is active in this area, whether there is a conflict. Some people will tell you they have not seen anything around. This does not mean it has not been thought of before. It may well be that someone may have patented the product, but simply could not get their marketing act together.The searching step is to protect you future investment.It is not all that smart to do your own searching unless you have had a lot of experience.It is common to have someone turn up who has rushed out and patented an idea without going down the Process route. Interesting idea George but how are you going to make it? You may need to change it to be able to produce it for a reasonable cost and then may sometimes have the expense of a patent all over again.If you already have an effective distribution operation, then Patent protection is not as critical - for someone who doesn't it is a key issue.We need an opinion from the patent attorney on what appears, at this stage, to be the best method of protection.Protection - Patent Attorney - types available ?As plans are now to go out for quotes -From this point forward protection of the concept becomes an issue as the number of people involved increases and security becomes difficult.Protection should now be put in place - Patent, Registered Design or otherwise.