Ramon Tozer interviewed by Geelong Advertiser
Article republished from the Geelong Advertiser, Business Beat, on Wednesday 27th November, Margaret Linley reports:
Patent protection – A law firm with expertise in patents has opened in Geelong
GEELONG is bubbling with so many new ideas, products, concepts and industries that a national intellectual property firm has made the move to open an office here.
Patent attorney and legal firm Davies Collison Cave has expanded into Geelong as this region moves from its traditional manufacturing base towards an increasing focus on innovative new technologies.
Patent attorney and partner Ramon Tozer, who was born and educated here, said it made sense for Davies Collison Cave to open a Geelong base at the Deakin Management Centre at Deakin University’s Waurn Pond campus.
There is world-class research and developments being conducted here at Deakin and CSIRO and a general sense of innovative activity from many businesses in Geelong, Dr Tozer said.
He said guarding intellectual property was an important decision that needed to be made early in the life of a business and at key times throughout the life of the business as more products were planned to be brought on line. ‘‘If you don’t seek protection for your intellectual property because you think,
By seeking protection for your intellectual property, you can offer an investor the potential to secure a monopoly on your product or process.
– Patent attorney Ramon Tozer
‘I don’t know how this idea or product will turn out and I don’t want to spend money seeking protection yet’, it’s often too late to do anything about it once your idea or product becomes commercially successful and everyone wants to copy it.’’
He said the process of protecting intellectual property could be confusing for businesses, with many complicated layers in ensuring it was done right from the outset.
Much of his company’s work involves educating businesses on how and what they need to do to protect and get the most from their intellectual property.
On the one level it’s about educating business to consider what IP (intellectual property) is and what it can do for them and also providing an understanding of how protecting it can create an advantage to the business,’’ Dr Ramon Tozer said. ‘‘If you secure those IP assets it can enhance the business model. It can be used as a business tool to help gain investment funds. ‘‘By seeking protection for your IP, you can offer an investor the potential to secure a monopoly on your product or process. Some grant funding systems can also be easier to access if you have IP protection in place.
Another reason a business might wish to protect its intellectual property is to facilitate licensing its products or processes. IP rights can simplistically be viewed as being similar to a common property or land right in the sense you can license it as you would rent a house, Dr Ramon Tozer said. Applying for, and being granted, a patent can take a few years but Dr Tozer dismisses the notion that this process is counter-productive to progressing your ideas to commercial reality.
He said even though it could take several years for a patent application to be fully examined and proceed to grant, provided the process of seeking protection was done correctly businesses could still pursue commercialisation of their ideas while the application was being assessed by the patent office.
You might be going to a trade show and you want to exhibit it (the new product) but you are concerned that people may see your unprotected product and try to copy it,’’ he said. ‘‘But you can get a patent application drafted and filed before the trade show. File today and present tomorrow. ‘‘With the patent system, it is important that people do not disclose their invention to the public before a patent application is filed at the patent office.
Dr Ramon Tozer said intellectual property needed to be dealt with systematically and in line with the legislative requirements. If not, he said, it could be difficult, problematic and expensive or impossible to fix problems down the track.
Businesses interested in an initial free consultation with Davies Collison Cave can contact Dr Ramon Tozer at firstname.lastname@example.org.