Intellectual property can be considered to be a tangible or intangible asset arising from the product of intellect. Intellectual property in its tangible asset form manifests as patents, trade marks, registered designs, and more.
What is IP?
Whether an individual or a corporation, if you have a new development in the form of an idea for a new product or a method of doing something, a new design, a new plant variety, or a new trade mark; as patent and trade mark attorneys, we assist in obtaining the intellectual property right to enable you to control the use of that new development.
A patent is granted for an invention being the embodiment of an idea in a product, method or process. Patents are not granted for ideas per se, but rather are concerned with the practical application of ideas. The granting of a patent provides a legal mechanism for the patent holder to control exploitation of the invention.
Trade marks are often referred to as brand names or brands. A trade mark is a word, phrase, logo, sign or symbol that identifies goods or services as coming from or being provided by a particular trader. A trade mark is used to distinguish the goods and services of one trader from those of another. A registered trade mark gives you the legal right to use, license or sell goods and/or services bearing the trade mark, for the goods or services for which it is registered, and to exclude unauthorised persons from using the trade mark in connection with those goods or services.
A registered design protects the appearance of a product or article. A registered design gives you the legal right to use, license or sell articles or products having the appearance of the design that is registered, and to exclude unauthorised persons from exploiting the design. In the context of registered designs, the word “design” is used in an artistic sense, and not in an engineering sense. Thus, registered designs are concerned with the appearance of an article or product, and not how the article or product works.
Plant Breeders Rights
A plant breeders right is the exclusive right to do various acts in relation to the propagating material of a plant variety. The process of obtaining Plant Breeder’s Rights is somewhat analogous to that of patent protection, in that there is a registration requirement, and an examination with respect to distinctiveness, uniformity and stability. The variety must not have been commercially exploited, subject to certain exceptions. As with patent protection, the rights of a PBR grantee are in the form of a monopoly. The process involves an initial application from a breeder, followed by a preliminary examination by the PBRO. Provisional protection may then be granted. Within 12 months, a detailed description of the plant is submitted to the PBRO. There is then publication of the details, an opportunity for third party objection, a more detailed examination of the application, and finally, the grant of the monopoly.