Each year, World Intellectual Property Day falls on April 26. You can celebrate the occasion by beginning to protect your intellectual assets in a globally competitive market. If your business is currently exporting overseas, or expects it will be in the near future, it is important to seek legal advice on how best to protect your products and brand internationally through trademarks, patents, designs and copyright.
Importance of protection
Intellectual property is multifaceted. Ranging from copyright, trademarks, patents, designs, trade secrets, domain names to IP licencing, each aspect needs to be carefully considered. Often it is not just the intellectual assets themselves that require protection. Rather, strategies need to be developed to reduce risk of infringement from past employees, contractors, business partners and any alternative third parties. This becomes difficult in an increasingly global trade market. Legal consultation can help navigate the current legislation from different countries.
From Australia to the world
In the December 2014 issue of the Australian International Business Today magazine, IP Australia’s chief economist Benjamin Mitra-Kahn wrote an article about the new pilot for the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH). He noted the GPPH has made it easier for Australian businesses to fast-track their patent applications in over 15 countries. One way it helps is by speeding up the patent approval process in foreign nations. This is attained by allowing businesses to request an accelerated review of a patent application if another office participating in the program has already approved the same invention.
Since protecting intellectual property worldwide can be legally complex, asking lawyers how this new GPPH can benefit your business is an ideal strategy. Applying for registration both in Australia and abroad requires customised advice specific to the needs of the legal process. For instance, innovative patents may require different advice to standard patents. Similarly, protecting industrial or commercial designs also needs expert and tailored legal advice.