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What should I consider before applying for a patent?

Many factors will influence your decision to apply for a patent. Some of the factors that might be relevant in your specific circumstances include:

FactorHow this could influence your decision to patent
Are you about to exhibit your innovation at a trade show, or otherwise make it publicly known?

As soon as you make your new product, process or invention publicly known, generally you become disqualified from being entitled to be granted a patent.

Consider deferring the exhibition of your product, process or invention, or consider accelerating your patent protection strategy.

Are you seeking an investor to inject capital into your innovation?Among prospective investors' criteria for investing in a new product, process or invention is patent protection, and confidence that the patent protection will be robust.
Have you invested a lot of capital in developing your innovation?The greater the size of your investment in developing your product, process or invention, the greater your risk of financial loss if there isn't strong patent protection.
Has someone else already developed the product, process or invention?

Have you undertaken patent searches to see if your product, process or invention is already the subject of another person's earlier patent application?

Undertake a patent search on AusPat or, for a more robust search, consider engaging a patent attorney.

Is there an opportunity to license your innovation:

  • to other companies in Australia
  • to other industry sectors
  • overseas?

You can profit from your product, process or invention not just by making and selling it, but by licensing it as well.

There are at least 3 ways in which you can license without your competitors benefitting. The stronger the patent protection, the greater the value of the licensing proposition and, therefore, the greater the returns that can be realised from licensing.

Are you aware of the cost of patenting?

A fully informed decision to patent can only be made if you are aware of how much it will cost to patent. Visit IP Australia's website to get the latest information on the fees applicable in filing a patent application.

If you engage a patent attorney, be sure to ask your patent attorney what professional fees will also be payable.