E-Patents Newsletter – Dec 2001
No 1 again!
Davies Collison Cave (Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys) and Davies Collison Cave Solicitors have, for the fifth time, been voted No 1 out of more than 30 other Australian based Intellectual Property firms. This achievement is recognised by the international survey conducted by the prestigious UK-based "Managing Intellectual Property" journal.
New patent system in Australia – innovation patents
In May 2001, a second-tier patent system, known as the Innovation patent system, came into effect in Australia. The Innovation patent has been aimed at encouraging innovation by small to medium companies by seeking to provide quicker and less expensive means of protecting lower level or incremental inventions not currently patentable.
he Innovation patent requires a lower threshold of invention and has a term of 8 years compared to the usual 20 years for a Standard patent. An Innovation Patent will be able to be granted within a few months entitling the owner to legitimately mark their product as 'Patented'. However, a patent infringement action is not able to be taken unless the granted Innovation patent is certified by way of a request for examination by the Australian Patent Office.
The Innovation patent should provide a means to protect computer software or hardware applications which may not be suitable for a Standard patent, but which are not simply superficial or peripheral to what is already known.
In light of the relatively short commercial lifetime of some software or hardware applications in a fast moving industry, the fast grant and shorter term of the Innovation patent may prove attractive.
Selected online intellectual property web-sites
- Limited free searches for prior art patents: www.uspto.gov (United States), www.european-patent-office.org (Europe) www.jpo.go.jp (Japan)
- Australian Patent Office: www.ipaustralia.gov.au
- Identify prior art documents, such as obscure journal articles, to invalidate patents in litigation and be paid: www.bountyquest.com
- Capitalise on your assets by listing online your Intellectual Property, such as patent applications, for sale or licensing: www.marketzone.ipnetwork.com, www.yet2.com