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What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property is effectively creations of the mind or intellect that are capable of being owned. It primarily encompasses copyright, trademarks and patents as a method to restrict the use of literature or artistic work without adequate recognition or compensation.
How do copyrights, trademarks and patents differ?
Copyright Laws Australia
In Australia, the moment an idea or creative concept is documented, either electronically or on paper, it is automatically protected by copyright. This includes books, films, music, magazines, artwork and more.
Infringing copyright includes using, editing, copying and distributing a creative concept without the copyright holders permission.
A trademark is a way you can identify a unique product or service and they last 10 years from when registered. A trademark is a great way to protect your brand and distinguish it from your competitors.
A trademark is not necessarily a business name or domain name and can encompass any combination of letters, numbers, sounds, smells, shapes/ pictures, logos and more.
It is important to note that you must actively use your trademark or it can be removed. This prevents trademarks from being registered simply to prevent others from using them.
Registering a patent grants exclusive commercial rights to an invention, device, method or process. For a patent application to be successful, there is strict requirements to meet, such as it must be new, useful and inventive or innovative.
A standard patent lasts up to 20 years and it’s important to note that publicly releasing an invention may prevent a patent from being registered for it.
Legal Intellectual Property Laws
Given the ongoing and continuous advancements made throughout the Digital Revolution, the law in Australia has developed significantly to protect intellectual property rights of persons and business’ alike. Most businesses will have intellectual property which is capable of protection. Depending on the nature of your business, your brand strength or dominance in the marketplace, it may be crucial to take steps to ensure that your intellectual property is not able to be used or appropriated by a competitor or other party.
What do I do if my Intellectual Property has been stolen or infringed?
The type of intellectual property and whether a trademark, patent or copyright exists will determine the legislation that is relevant to the matter. Each legislation covers the legal action that can be taken plus legal remedies and compensation that may be ordered through the Courts.
Forge Legal has the expertise to assist you to understand your legal rights in relation to intellectual property matters. Where necessary we can offer legal advice should your intellectual property be stolen and also help you to put appropriate barriers in place to best protect your assets from those that seek to profit from your efforts. Please contact us to discuss your intellectual property needs.
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