A Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Patent on Your Product
Step 1: Conduct a Patent Search
Before filing a patent application, it can be useful to conduct a patent search to determine if your invention is already patented or if something similar is already in the public domain that may affect the novelty of your invention. This step can help provide confidence that your invention is indeed novel and inventive and for the purposes of being granted patent protection.
Step 2: Prepare and File a Patent Application
Once you have conducted a patent search and determined that your invention is novel and inventive, the next step is to prepare and file a patent application. This application must include a detailed description of the invention and it is typically best practice to include claims and drawings which help explain how the invention works. The Australian Patent Office charges fees for filing a patent application, and the fees vary depending on the type of patent you are applying for.
Step 3: Patent Examination
After your standard patent application has been filed, it will typically be examined by a patent examiner who will review the application and determine if it meets the requirements for patentability. The examiner will evaluate your invention for novelty, inventive step, and utility. If the examiner finds any issues with the application, they will issue an examination report outlining the issues and providing an opportunity for you to respond and make amendments to the application if necessary.
Step 4: Acceptance and Publication
If the patent examiner determines that the application meets all the requirements for patentability, the application will be accepted and published in the Australian Official Journal of Patents. At this stage, third parties have a three-month window during which they can oppose the grant of your patent.
Step 5: Patent Grant
If there is no opposition or if the opposition has been resolved, the patent will be granted, and the patentee will be granted the exclusive right to make, use, and sell the invention for up to 20 years from the date of filing.
Step 6: Patent Maintenance
After a patent is granted, the patent must be maintained by paying maintenance fees to the Australian Patent Office. These fees are due at specific intervals throughout the life of the patent, and failure to pay the maintenance fees can result in the patent lapsing.
Obtaining patent protection is a lengthy and complex process, but it can be crucial for protecting your invention and bolstering the success of your business. By conducting a thorough patent search, preparing strong and detailed patent applications, and working with an experienced patent attorney with the right technical background, you can navigate the patent process successfully and obtain the patent protection needed to support and protect the commercial success of your invention.