Know your rights: intellectual property 101

Updated: Jun 1


A fist on yellow background. Get to know your IP right with Law Team.

Whether you’re a tech start up, property developer, interior designer, or creative entrepreneur, if you’re in business, you have Intellectual Property (IP).


Not exactly sure what your IP is? It’s simple. Your Intellectual Property is any logo, words, images, product, service, process or idea that belongs to you.

It’s what sets you apart in the market. And that’s worth protecting.


YOUR IP PROTECTION RIGHTS With IP disputes becoming increasingly common, its crucial to understand your IP protection rights.


When registered and managed correctly, they help you safeguard your business and commercialise your creations. But without the correct protection in place, you risk brand reputation and market share.


There are a number of IP rights for different types of IP.

Finding the perfect combination for your business can take time (and the advice of a professional IP lawyer), but here are the most common rights that need to be registered in Australia.


Patents Have an ingenious invention or novel process that you need to protect? A patent is the right for you.


This legally enforceable right will protect any inventive device, substance, method or process from exploitation for the life of the patent. It means you can stop others from manufacturing, using or selling your invention without your permission.


How do they work in real life? Gecko Traxx is an Australian start-up that used patents effectively to protect their innovative wheelchair tyre idea to improve accessibility to the beach.


Trademarks

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but IP copycats are actually unlawful.


The best way to protect your brand from these imitators is with a trademark. You’ll gain exclusive control over your logo, words, taglines and other branding elements such as shapes, colours and sounds. And you’ll have the right to take legal action against anyone who tries to copy your trademark.


Children’s clothing start-up Tutu By You registered their trademark to carve out an identity for their brand before they launched and protect themselves on their commercialisation journey.


Designs

Want your product to become iconic like the Coca-Cola glass bottle?


A design right lets you protect the visual appearance of your unique product to stop others from replicating the design. It covers product shape, configuration, pattern, ornamentation and manufacturing for a maximum of 10 years.


Design-driven company Huskee reaped the benefits of protecting their aesthetically innovative coffee cup with a design right. When a European company copied their cup with slight modifications, Huskee used their rights to recall the copycat cup from the market. That’s IP protection well played.


Plant Breeders Rights

Developed a new plant variety?


Plant Breeder's Rights can give you a commercial monopoly on the breed for a period of time. It means you’ll have exclusive commercial rights to your registered variety of plant for reproduction, propagation, sale, import or export purposes.


Once the protection period lapses however the plant variety will be available to anyone.


Australian strawberry producers Berry Sensation used Plant Breeders Rights to protect 4 new strawberry varieties in Australia in recent years to ensure other growers weren’t able to propagate the breeds. The rights gave them exclusivity to their strawberry varieties so they can’t be copied for the duration of their right period. It’s peace of mind and a competitive advantage.

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IP rights registration can be complicated, but it’s an important investment in your business legacy.

Don’t risk it by filing your own patent, trademark, design or plant breeder application. Let us create the right IP strategy and application for your business. Get Law Team on your side.

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