COVID-19 alert: Read about changed restrictions for businesses in Greater Brisbane from 6pm, Monday 11 January.

How can protecting a product, process or invention help my business?

You can protect the product, process or invention that you have developed by applying for a patent.

What is a patent?

A patent is granted by IP Australia (Australian Government agency). A patent holder has the right to stop others using the patented product, process or invention in Australia.

You can also apply for a patent in other countries.

How does a patent help my business?

The patent holder is the only person entitled to make the product, use the process, or exploit the invention, and to realise the economic benefits from the product, process or invention.

A patent protects your innovation from competitors who may want to copy or reverse-engineer your product, process or invention.

This means that only you can market and sell the products or services that are protected by the patent, and only you are entitled to profit from that.

If a person 'copycats', 'free rides' or reverse-engineers your patented invention, there are certain steps that you can take to stop the person doing so, and to be compensated as well.

Can I license my patent?

As well as making and selling products or services that are protected by your patent, you can also profit from your patents by authorising other people to use them. This is called 'licensing'.

When you license your patent, you give another person the right to use your patent.

You might, for example, grant a licence to another person whose business is located elsewhere in Australia (i.e. they are not a local business competitor) or even grant a licence to another person in another country.

In that way your patent is working even harder for you. You can profit from making and selling products or services yourself, but you will also receive royalties from licensee/s making and selling your products or services.