Developing something unique and innovative is an incredible feat of creativity that can go a long way in attracting attention in your field of interest. Can your creation be patented? This will provide a range of safeguards for inventors against a competitor stealing and reproducing their creations.

What is a Patent?

A patent is a legally enforceable right that can be granted in relation to a device, substance, method or process which is new, inventive and useful.  A patent is a legally enforceable instrument. A patent provides that you are the owner of the invention, with the exclusive rights to market this patent to generate income for your business. Why patent your invention? Benefits of patenting an invention include the fact that it:

  • Gives inventors the right to stop competitors from producing or selling inventions without authorisation.
  • Allows inventors to generate money from their inventions by licensing other parties to manufacture the inventions on agreed terms.
  • Gives inventors an incentive to continue researching and developing new creations.

What are the Types of Patents?

There are two main types of patents that can be registered in Australia – these are standard patents and innovative patents. Inventors can file a provisional application which allows for 12 months to consider the commercial worth of the creation, and for the inventor to decide which class of patents the creation will be registered in. Under the Patents Act 1990 a standard patent can be registered for an invention that is new, involves an inventive step, is useful and is not the subject of secret use. An innovative patent can be registered for an invention that satisfies the same criteria as a standard patent, however this invention must be innovative rather than inventive. An inventive patent may be more appropriate for inventions that further advance existing technology.  An innovative patent may be more appropriate for an invention that provides a revolutionary creation in a particular industry.

What if a Patent is Not Registered?

Inventors are not compelled to register their patents.  An unregistered patent is generally known as a trade secret. There are two outcomes that may follow from not registering an invention:

  • By keeping the invention as a trade secret, a competitor may discover this secret and proceed to patent it under his/her own name or a competitor may come up with this invention through his/her own discovery.
  • An inventor may choose to reveal the invention to the public. This may prevent a competitor from being able to later patent this invention, as it has now become part of the public knowledge.

Key Takeaways

Patent law is a specialised field.  It is important to seek legal advice in relation to the options that are available, as there are numerous options. A patent lawyer may assist an inventor to find the best possible avenues to protect your interest in your creation. For more information on patents, please see IP Australia’s website.

COVID-19 Business Survey
LegalVision is conducting a survey on the impact of COVID-19 for businesses across Australia. The survey takes 2 minutes to complete and all responses are anonymous. We would appreciate your input. Take the survey now.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.

The majority of our clients are LVConnect members. By becoming a member, you can stay ahead of legal issues while staying on top of costs. For just $199 per month, membership unlocks unlimited lawyer consultations, faster turnaround times, free legal templates and members-only discounts.

Learn more about LVConnect

Need Legal Help? Get a Free Fixed-Fee Quote

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

  • By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails from LegalVision and can unsubscribe at any time. See our full Privacy Policy.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Our Awards
  • 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn
  • 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards
  • 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards
  • Most Innovative Law Firm - 2019 Australasian Lawyer 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer
Privacy Policy Snapshot

We collect and store information about you. Let us explain why we do this.

What information do you collect?

We collect a range of data about you, including your contact details, legal issues and data on how you use our website.

How do you collect information?

We collect information over the phone, by email and through our website.

What do you do with this information?

We store and use your information to deliver you better legal services. This mostly involves communicating with you, marketing to you and occasionally sharing your information with our partners.

How do I contact you?

You can always see what data you’ve stored with us.

Questions, comments or complaints? Reach out on 1300 544 755 or email us at

View Privacy Policy