Intellectual property can be a crucial business tool, but not everyone thinks with enough concentration about protecting their big ideas. In 2001, plumber Brad McCarthy got stuck on a remote beach in Cape York in north Queensland and spent about six hours getting his car out with a hand winch. He knew there must be a much better way. In response, he invented Inventions, a lightweight vehicle-recovery device for bogged off-roaders.

After designing the super-tough nylon product, he attended a Queensland Government business seminar, where the advisers stressed getting patent protection before his idea was publicised. “One of the first things we did was talk to a patent attorney to see how you could protect the idea,” says McCarthy, who launched Maxtrax in 2005. It is actually now purchased in about 30 countries worldwide. McCarthy has patents in key markets including Australia, Europe and the US, as well as the business also has a trademark on the distinctive original “safety orange” hue it uses for its moulded product. Unlike McCarthy, however, many inventors and businesses with recommended cruel their chances of success from day one.

Their big mistake? Ignoring patents or any other intellectual property protection before they spruik their idea to investors, the public or perhaps friends. It could be a costly error. Bradley Postma, principal at patent and trademark attorney firm Cullens, says small and medium enterprises (SMEs), specifically, often neglect safeguarding their IP or think it will likely be too costly. “The majority of protectable IP goes unprotected,” he says.

Europe can be quite a particular trap for exporters because, unlike a few other major markets, it does not have a grace period allowing for public disclosure of the invention without affecting the validity of Invention Patent. That opens the way in which for an idea or product to get copied. “In Australia and the United States that you can do something about this, provided you’re inside a one-year window – in Europe you can’t, it’s too late,” Postma says. “In that case, businesses have shot themselves within the foot; they’ve forfeited their rights and anyone can copy [their idea].” Postma observes that business people often think their idea is simply too easy to warrant a patent. “However, if it’s successful and uncomplicated, it will probably be copied and you have to get advice.”

Unitary patents on way – Margot Fröhlinger is principal director of unitary patent, European and international legal affairs at the Munich-based European Patent Office (EPO), which oversees about 160,000 patent applications annually. She recently completed a road trip warning Australian firms that poor patent and IP safeguards could derail their European market opportunities. Companies must innovate – and protect their inventions. “You have to have the protection of your IP and, particularly, patent protection in order to get an excellent return on your own investment,” she says.

Many international businesses have baulked at exporting to Europe because of complex patent processes across multiple jurisdictions that may lead to potentially high costs and marginal protection. However, the EPO is promoting a brand new unitary patent system that promises to be a game changer. This will make it easy to get protection in approximately 26 participating European Union member states using the submission of a single request towards the EPO.

A November 2017 EPO study, Patents, Trade and FDI inside the European Union, suggests better harmonisation of Europe’s patent system has the potential to increase trade and foreign direct investment in high-tech sectors, delivering annual gains of €14.6 billion ($A22.8 billion) in trade and €1.8 billion (A$2.81 billion) in foreign direct investment.

Fröhlinger believes Australian businesses across all sectors have opportunities to expand to the European market, which boasts greater than 500 million people, high gross domestic product and robust consumer demand. “It’s extremely important for Australian businesses to know that there is a big change ahead in Europe. I’m not talking no more than patents,” Fröhlinger says. “It’s very important to have an integrated IP portfolio considering patents and trademarks and (covering) design. When they don’t have (IP) people in-house they need to try to get strategic business advice.”

The need for intangible assets – This call to action for Australian businesses comes as the worldwide Innovation Index 2017 reports on countries’ IP receipts as being a amount of total trade. In essence, the measure indicates how a country is performing on the IP front. While Australia scores well in terms of inputs into research and development, the usa (5.1 per cent), Japan (4.7 %) and Finland (2.9 %) easily outperform Australia (.3 percent) on IP royalties.

The content? As a general rule, Australian companies usually are not great at converting research into value and treat IP almost as an administrative function. The exceptions are health tech leaders, like medical device company Cochlear and sleep-disorder business ResMed, which understand the significance of intangible assets like brand name and data use, vyltsm build their businesses around it.

In a knowledge-based economy, IP has developed into a crucial business tool and governing it is no longer only a matter of organising trademarks and patents. Intangible assets are rapidly increasingly important than tangible assets and require appropriate consideration.

An overview of Australia’s top listed companies, released by Glasshouse Advisory in September 2017, endorses this type of sentiment. It reveals that 38 per cent in the companies’ value (regarding a$550 billion) will not be included on their own balance sheets; this suggests that Inventhelp Invention Marketing are operating without insights right into a significant proportion in the corporate asset base.

How To Submit A Patent – New Light On A Relevant Idea..

We are using cookies on our website

Please confirm, if you accept our tracking cookies. You can also decline the tracking, so you can continue to visit our website without any data sent to third party services.