Novel IP

Patent & Design Prior Use

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As registered Australian Patent Attorneys, NovelIP provide all elements of patent advice and patent consultancy to protect your intellectual property.

“A patent is a right that is granted for any device, substance, method or process that is new, inventive and useful.

A patent is a legally enforceable right to commercially exploit the invention for the life of the patent.” - IP Australia

Patents are vital to protect inventors’ intellectual property and give inventors legally enforceable rights to their devices, substances, methods and processes from being copied, licensed, sold or otherwise used without express permission.

In Australia, patents are divided into two categories: 

Standard patent
Standard patents are used to protect a new invention or an inventive step that have use in an industry, and lasts up to 20 years from the filing date, in most cases;
Innovation patent
Innovation patents offer protections to inventions with short market lives or that may be superseded by new innovations in a short amount of time i.e. technology or computer-based inventions, for a period of up to eight years.

Patents are effectively used to protect how things work. When used correctly, patents allow you, the owner of the product design, composition, process or invention, to control the sale or use of the invention and offers you a monopoly for the duration of the life of the patent, protecting your valuable intellectual property. 

Unlike copyright, however, a patent is not automatically granted when you create or invent a product and the onus is on you, the owner of the invention or design, to protect your intellectual property with a patent. 

In Australia, patents are administered by IP Australia, an Australian Government organisation, and if you wish to formally patent your invention or design, an Australian patent search must be undertaken and an application must be lodged in a timely manner. When registering a design, an experienced patent attorney is invaluable in the patent process.

Prior to lodging your Australian patent application, due diligence and patent examination is essential to ensure that the patent or a similar patent haven’t been registered prior in Australia.

As Registered Australian Trade Marks Attorneys with more than 20 years’ experience in the field of intellectual property and trade mark, NovelIP have extensive knowledge as patent consultants and patent searchers and are able to guide you through the complexities of patent registration in Australia. 

A simple patent or design search will save you a lot of time, money and effort in the long run!

We work with our clients through every element of patent registration. We will undertake an Australian and International patent searches to help determine whether the design or a similar design has been registered as a patent in Australia or Internationally to ensure that your innovative designs are fully protected. 

We also assist our clients to navigate the process when a patent infringement has occurred. By conducting an in-depth Australian patent infringement investigation, encompassing general Australian patent searches and IP Australia design searches, we will assist you to protect your intellectual property.  


NovelIP conduct two main types of patent investigations including:

Landscape Investigations

Landscape investigations involve conducting comprehensive searches of Australian and International patent, design and non-patent literature to provide context to the state of the art at the priority date of patents or designs. These investigation reports can be used to give informed opinions on the novelty and inventive/innovative steps of the patent claims. 

Novel IP Investigations has access to free and commercial databases such as Derwent World Patent Index™, Embase and Food Science and Technology Abstracts (FSTA). 


Targeted Investigations

Targeted investigations are conducted to identify secret use or disclosures of the inventions or designs by inventors and authors before the priority date.  

Novel IP Investigations can conduct investigations that scour publications, conference records, employee records, social media, etc. to identify and pursue leads to potential disclosure such as presenting at conferences, using prototypes in a commercial setting, discussions with suppliers, offers to sell to customers or competitors, etc.


Case Study 

Our client had been accused of infringing a certified Australian design.  

A background check on the design author/owner revealed where they had been living and working in the years immediately before the priority date. Further investigations of social media, historic versions of websites on the deep web and telephone inquiries established that the author had disclosed the invention prior to the design priority date at an industry event and to several customers. 

Given this evidence, lawyers were able to subpoena records and invalidate the design. The matter was subsequently resolved out of court and our client continued to manufacture and sell their product.

Our patent reports are provided in a format that can be easily transferred into a Statutory Declaration or Affidavit for use by our clients moving forward.

If you would like advice or help on trade mark infringement, please get in touch and a trademark consultant will be in contact to discuss a strategy that meets your objectives and budget.

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