So you’ve done all the hard work of creating your invention and completed the complicated process of securing a patent, now what? Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a patent! The patent comes with legal rights, and you as the owner get to enforce those rights.
You must, therefore, manage your Patent so that the rights are adequately protected and enforced. You don’t want all your hard work to be wasted by not maintaining and managing your valuable patent.
There are many things to consider in managing your patent.
Don’t forget to pay the renewal fees!
If you want to keep your patent active, you will need to pay annual renewal fees. If you do not have a patent attorney, IP Australia will notify you about paying the maintenance fees, but otherwise it is all on you! Standard and innovation patents require annual renewal fees, and the costs are different for each type of patent. The costs for a standard patent are much more expensive than an innovation patent, and as the number of years of the original filing date increases, so too do the annual renewal fees.
You are required to pay renewal fees for a standard patent from the 4th anniversary of the filing date, and then every year after that. For an innovation patent, you need to pay the renewal fee from the 2nd anniversary of the filing date and every subsequent year up to the 7th anniversary. Innovation patents have a maximum term of eight years.
What happens if you do forget?
If you do happen to forget to pay the renewal fee on or before the anniversary, do not panic! There is a six-month grace period after the anniversary. You can pay the fee within the six month period, but there is an extra charge per month that the payment is late.
However, if you haven’t paid your fee for the six-month period, then your patent is no longer active.
Think about international patenting
Other things to consider once you have your patent are international patent rights. Do you need to be protected in other countries? Are there inventions in other countries that might be an obstacle to you securing a patent overseas?
As the owner of a patent, you have the right to grant patent licences to others. Be deliberate in how you do this, and make sure that your intellectual property rights are protected as much as possible. It is well worth having an intellectual property professional draft a patent licence or review it so that you understand your rights and obligations under the licence. Similarly, your patent may be the subject of commercial agreements. You need to know what your rights are and your obligations to the other party to the agreement.
Notify IP Australia of changes
You will need to notify IP Australia if you change address, if the patent changes ownership, or if you grant a licence to another party.
Securing the patent for your invention is not the end of it! You must make sure that you get the maximum protection from the patent by paying the relevant fees and keeping it up to date with changes. Get in touch with one of LegalVision’s IP lawyers today for an obligation-free consultation and fixed-fee quote.