How to protect your intellectual property

November 12, 2007, 12:48 pmKBB

You can protect your IP through patents, trademarks and copyrights.

If you’ve got a great business process or product that you don’t want anyone to copy, you need to think about protecting the intellectual property (IP) of the process or product.

You can protect your IP through patents, trademarks and copyrights, which act as legal protection for your concept.

Ideas are excluded

Keep in mind, however, that it’s not possible to protect an idea – there must be an original business process to protect to qualify for a patent.

Registering your IP rights in Australia may not protect you in overseas markets, and it is often necessary to apply for patents, trademarks and copyrights in other markets as well.

Hire a lawyer

You will need to appoint a specialist intellectual property lawyer to register a patent. This person can usually also advise you about registering patents overseas. But be warned: registering patents can be an expensive process because of legal fees – the lawyer may have to appoint counsel in other markets and translators are also usually involved in markets where English is not the first language.

But operating without the protection of patents means competitors can copy your product or business process.