With the increase in online businesses and marketing, intellectual property rights have taken a forefront in conversations between many individuals and business owners. So do you have intellectual property rights? If so, how can you protect them?

Basically, intellectual property rights are given to the owners over their creations. These creations are often intangible in nature meaning that they are ideas, concepts, or visual images that may result in the creation of unique physical objects.

Often, the best way to protect your intellectual property is by registering your rights in it. How you register your intellectual property will depend on the type of intellectual property that you have created.

We have provided a summary of the main types of intellectual property that are recognised under Australian legislation for you to have a look at to get an understanding of intellectual property and the rights that exist in them.

Copyright

Copyright refers to the rights within literary, artistic or musical works. You do not need to register copyright, rather you can indicate your ownership of copyrighted material in order to enforce your rights in them.

An example of this would be Copyright Notice: © [Creator name] [year] e.g. © LegalVision 2014

Trademarks

Trademarks refer to symbols, logos, brand names or words that are used to represent a company or a product. Trademarks are used to distinguish the goods of one company from another. It is possible to apply for a trademark however, you will need to ensure that you understand the costs and waiting periods associated with the application process before doing so.

Patents

Patents refer to any devise, method, substance or process that is new, useful and inventive. It is possible to apply for a patent in order to enforce your rights in the patent against competitors and in order to commercially exploit the patent to generate revenue for your business. However, patents can either be standard or innovative. In order to understand which category your patent falls under and how you can proceed with the patent application process, it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer first.

Design

Designs are fairly complex examples of intellectual property. They refer to the physically appearance and visual appeal of products that are new and creative. Designs do not necessarily cover the actual fabric or materials used to create the design, rather, the design referred to is the appearance of the product. It is possible to apply for a design in order to make your rights in the design legally enforceable, however, since this is a complicated area of law it is recommended to seek legal advice first.

Plant Breeders Rights

If you have developed a plant variety that is new and distinctive, you may be eligible to apply for plant breeders rights (PBR). To gain an understanding of your rights within the plant variety and the use of the seedlings, we recommend seeking advice from an intellectual property lawyer.

Conclusion

For more information on your intellectual property rights and how to enforce them, please get in touch. One of our IP lawyers will be pleased to assist!

Lachlan McKnight

Next Steps

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