Intellectual Property Lawyer
Intellectual Property, also known as IP, can be a business’s most valuable asset. For this reason, it is important that businesses and individuals understand how to properly protect and manage their intellectual property.
Intellectual property refers to things created through the unique application of the human mind, and these things can legally be owned and commercialised.
Some forms of intellectual property, such as circuit layouts and copyright, are freely and automatically covered by legal protections upon creation. Patents, designs, trademarks, and plant breeder’s rights on the other hand require registration with IP Australia to be protected.
LGM Advisors intellectual property lawyers Melbourne can assist you with any dispute or matter relating to intellectual property, including its protection, enforcement, and management.
Copyright Lawyer Melbourne
Copyright protections are outlined in the Copyright Act 1968, which has been amended on a number of occasions to ensure that the Act protects new and emerging forms of creative work. An intellectual property lawyer can advise you of your exclusive creator’s rights under the Act, and assist you in protecting and managing these rights. As a creator, you have the exclusive right to commercialise your material, and others must receive license or permission from you in order to copy, publicly perform, publish, broadcast, or make an adaptation of your work. Copyright does not protect ideas themselves, only the original expression of ideas.
The type of works that are protected by copyright laws include:
• Media Broadcasts
• Sound Recordings
• Computer programs and databases
Circuit layouts are two-dimensional representations of the three-dimensional location of electronic components within an integrated circuit. A chip or integrated circuit made from a layout is crucial to the function of various electronic devices such as pacemakers and computers.
An intellectual property lawyer is able to advise you of your rights as an intellectual property owner, and can assist you in enforcing and managing these rights. As the creator or owner of a circuit layout, you have the exclusive right to copy that layout, commercially exploit that layout, and make integrated circuits from that layout throughout Australia. For the purposes of intellectual property law, commercial exploitation regarding circuit layouts refers to sale, hire, importation, and distribution.
Protection lasts for 10 years from the date commercial exploitation commenced, which must in turn have occurred within 10 years of the creation of a layout. Therefore, the maximum possible period of protection for circuit layouts is 20 years.
Patents Lawyer – Melbourne
A patent is a government granted license which awards an inventor exclusive rights to commercialise a device, method, substance, or process they have created which is original, inventive, and useful compared to what was already known. Various types of patents exist in Australia, for the protection of different creations. Standard patents last up to 20 years, innovation patents last for up to eight years, and pharmaceutical patents last for up to 25 years.
Patents must be registered with IP Australia in order to be enforceable. The application and registration process can be lengthy and costly, so it is crucial to have your application managed or reviewed by an intellectual property lawyer before submitting it to IP Australia.
Trademarks Lawyer – Melbourne
A trademark is a sign or symbol used to distinguish your goods and services from those sold by competitors or other traders. Trademark protection is crucial for building and protecting a strong brand identity, and can often be a business’s greatest asset. An intellectual property lawyer is able to assist you with registering and managing your trademark protections. Once registered, you will have the exclusive right to use that trademark commercially, including the right to license it for use by someone else.
Trademarks must be registered with IP Australia in order to be protected.
If your trademark is not registered, someone else may use it. In this case, you may still be able to take action under misleading and deceptive conduct, or passing off protections included under the Australian Consumer Law.
Designs Lawyer – Melbourne
A design can include features of a configuration, shape, patent, or ornamentation which gives a product a unique appearance. In order to be protected, a design must be new and distinctive. A design generally constitutes the overall appearance of a product, rather than its mechanics or how it works (although these may be eligible for patent protection). If you have registered a design, you then have the exclusive right to commercialise that design, including through use, license, or sale.
An intellectual property lawyer will be able to assist you in registering your design. In order for a design to be registered in Australia, it must be both:
• New – meaning it must not be identical to any design previously disclosed anywhere in the world (including on the internet), nor any design previously used in Australia; and
• Distinctive – meaning that the design must not be substantially similar in overall composition or impression to any design published previously anywhere in the world, or used previously in Australia. It is important that you do not disclose your design to anyone should you wish to register it, as this may result in your design no longer being considered new or distinctive and therefore ineligible for registration.
Plant Breeder’s Rights Lawyer – Melbourne
New varieties of plants, found to be distinct, uniform, and stable, may be protected by Plant Breeder’s Rights. These rights grant the owner of a new variety of plant the exclusive right to use that variety commercially. This includes the sale, use, production, or distribution of that variety, as well as the right to receive royalties for the sale of that plant variety.