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Intellectual property is all rights and privileges gained from mental or intellectual endeavours. Intellectual property includes things like patents for new and improved products, trade marks for letters, words phrases, sounds etcetera. It also includes designs, copyright, circuit layout rights, confidentiality, plant breeder’s rights and trade secrets.
As global business markets develop into increasingly competitive places, intellectual property grows to be highly essential for businesses to distinguish themselves from competitors in order to stay successful. However it is important to note that creating Intellectual Property does not mean you own the rights to it. The exception is copyright and circuit layout rights as they are automatic but for the rest of the intellectual property types you must take formal steps to register you intellectual property and to therefore obtain the legal rights of ownership.
A patent is a right granted to a person/s for any material, device, system or process that’s original, inventive and practical. It is legally enforceable and it allows the owner to have exclusive right to commercially use the invention for the life duration of the patent. A patent will also give protection to newly invented technology which is yet to lead to a product, therefore by having a patent it could have significant long-term commercial gain.
Whereas a trade mark can be a word, letter, logo, picture, sound, phrase, shape, number, smell, aspect of packaging or any mixture of these, which is used to differentiate goods and services of one merchant from those of another. A registered trade mark gives you the legal right to use, license, or sell it within Australia. When you initially register your trademark it will last for 10 years after which you can renew registration for another 10 years.
Copyright allows you to guard the original expression of ideas, not the actual ideas. It is without charge, and automatically protects your original works of art, films, music, literature, broadcasts and computer programs from copying, as well as certain other exploitations. It does not need to be registered in Australia however you may wish to use a copyright notice as it can help prove your ownership of the copyright especially in a few overseas countries, it can also be used as a deterrent mechanism to potential infringers.
What Can We Do?
If you would like to preserve your hard work by harnessing your intellectual property through a trademark or copyright, call Quinn Lawyers today. Contact us to organise a consultation. Our dedicated team will deal with your problem in a sympathetic, time efficient and cost effective manner. Send an online enquiry or call us on +61 2 9223 9166.
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The Quinn Group operates Quinn Consultants, Quinn Lawyers, Quinn Financial Planning and Quinn Financial Solutions. The Quinn Group provides related information in regard to legal, accounting and financial planning issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation* *other than for the acts or omissions of financial services licensees.