One of the most valuable assets a company can possess is its intellectual property. This includes everything from innovative ideas to unique brand identifiers. Our team can help you understand which of the different categories of intellectual property applies to your business.
Copyright safeguards the unique expression of an idea or fact, not the idea itself. Examples of copyrightable materials include written works, drawings, paintings, photographs, and source code. The creator or author of the work inherently owns the copyright. In Australia, when the author creates the work, copyright protection automatically comes into effect.
Trademarks serve as distinctive signs to differentiate your business’s products and services from your competitors. While words, logos, and slogans are the most common types of trademarks, they can also extend to sounds, smells, packaging designs, or images. It’s advisable to register your trademarks to ensure comprehensive legal protection. In Australia, unregistered trademarks only receive limited protection.
Patents provide a legal entitlement to exclusive commercial use or sale of an invention. Unlike copyrights, patents aren’t automatic, and inventors must apply for them. An invention must be unique and innovative to qualify for a patent.
Navigating the patent application process can be complex due to its stringent requirements, and seeking legal advice early is highly recommended. Premature public disclosure of your invention may result in disqualification from patent eligibility.
Trade Secrets, another area of intellectual property, rely on contractual agreements for protection. Businesses often resort to trade secrets when an invention or process isn’t eligible for patent protection, or when there’s a risk that public disclosure might lead to commercial losses.
Intellectual property rights play an important role in protecting your business’s unique creations and ideas from unauthorised use. Whether through copyrights, trademarks, patents, or trade secrets, each form of protection has its own complexities and benefits. Therefore, understanding these differences and seeking early legal advice can help ensure that your business’s intellectual assets are adequately secured.