7 Common Misconceptions About Obtaining a Patent
From Taylor Swift fighting the good fight to owning her master recordings to CJ Hendry burning her artwork to comply with copyright infringement, even popular artists are not immune from intellectual property claims.
Whether you have invented an ingenious product or a brilliant app, it’s crucial to take the right steps to protect your rights to your invention. However, intellectual property law is intricate and tricky and often surrounded by some unfounded myths.
In this post, we’re sharing common misconceptions about obtaining a patent. Take a look.
- Documenting My Invention Is Enough
People often document their invention by recording it, writing it down or mailing it to themselves. While this is a good practice, it is not enough to protect your invention. All it gives you is an approximate date of the invention for challenging someone else’s patent rights. However, if they have filed a patent before you invented your version, this documentation might not be of much use. Therefore, consult technology lawyers.
- Patenting is Too Expensive
It’s no secret that obtaining a patent or trade mark is a time-consuming and complicated process. If the patent or trade mark is not drafted correctly, it can become an extremely expensive process. Don’t worry, if the invention has commercial value and is commercialised, getting a patent and trade mark is worth every penny.
- My Patent is Applicable Worldwide
Laws pertaining to intellectual property vary from country to country. If you have patented something in one country, it doesn't give your invention worldwide protection. You would have to seek patents in every country where you want to protect, sell or distribute your invention. This is also applicable when you register a trade mark in Australia.
- What If My Lawyer Steals My Idea
Are you worried that your lawyer will steal your genius idea? Let us give you some peace of mind. Trademark lawyers are bound by a code of conduct and code of ethics that forbids them from stealing or acquiring your ideas. A qualified lawyer will represent you properly and keep your intellectual property and inventions strictly confidential.
- No One Will Copy My Idea Once I Have a Patent
Just because something is illegal doesn’t mean people won’t do it. You can expect people will copy or steal your ideas despite having the legal rights to your intellectual property. Moreover, it is also important to note that other traders may not make you aware of any infringement. It is your responsibility to keep an eye out for infringement of your intellectual property rights.
- Mega-Corporations Will Steal My Idea Anyway
From Converse to Christian Dior, many major brands have been accused of stealing from small designers. Many people argue the viability of getting a patent if big corporations are going to steal your ideas anyway. However, if your idea is legally protected, corporations should not copy the intellectual property in the first place. And if they do, you have the leverage to threaten to bring action and to take them to court.
- Getting a Patent Or Trade Mark Can Wait
Some people start marketing their product before getting a patent or trade mark to test its profitability. But as soon as you make the product public (such as by commercialising the invention) and without filing a patent, you might lose your rights to patent the idea, due to the operation of patent law. If you do that, other traders may be able to use your invention without you being able to bring a claim against them. Trade marks can be filed at any time, but in some countries it is the first party to file a trade mark that has the right to use that trade mark. The best course of action is to keep material confidential and then file the patent and trade marks before commercialisation.