What is intellectual property?
Intellectual Property is a form of property right that results from the creative and intellectual efforts of individuals and organisations. Examples include ideas, inventions, designs, processes, products, brands, images, artistic work, trade secrets and confidential information.
The owner of intellectual property is usually, at least initially, be the creator – such as the maker, inventor, author or artist. Intellectual property can have more than one owner, belong to a person or an organisation, be sold or transferred, and be licensed to others for use.
Company, business and domain names are not, in themselves, intellectual property. However they are very important aspects that form part of an organisation’s brand and identity so need to be protected.
Protecting your intellectual property
All organisations have some form of intellectual property. Although not all of it can or needs to be protected, anything that is critical to the success of your business should be.
Intellectual property laws can give the owner certain exclusive rights that prevent others from coping or using without the owner’s permission. Those rights allow the owner the time and opportunity to commercialise their intellectual property.
While intellectual property rights exist in many forms, in some cases they need to be registered to be of any value. If protecting and / or commercialising the intellectual property outside Australia is important, it also needs to be registered internationally and/or in other countries.
Intellectual property rights can be established, protected, enforced and promoted in a number of ways, including through:
• breeder’s rights;
• circuit layout rights;
• moral rights; and
• confidentiality agreements.
Commercialising your intellectual property
In simple terms, commercialising intellectual property is all about getting the products or service to market. Often this involves working with others to develop, market and distribute the product or services, which, in itself, requires disclosure and a potential risk (especially in the start-up stage). The main ways that people and organisations commercialise intellectual property include:
• allowing others (under a licence) to develop, market and distribute the intellectual property;
• partnering with someone to develop, market and distribute intellectual property; and
• selling the intellectual property, or the entity that owns it.
Expect results with expert advice and action from Mahoneys.
How we help our clients
Mahoneys have a dedicated team of lawyers with expertise in establishing, protecting, enforcing and commercialising intellectual property. We act for a range of clients who create, develop, market, distribute, buy and sell intellectual property.
Key services we provide our clients include:
• advising on your intellectual property rights;
• structuring of entities to own intellectual property assets;
• registering trade marks, designs and other rights;
• protecting copyright and moral rights;
• protecting confidential information and trade secrets;
• reviewing, negotiating and documenting
• non disclosure, non-circumvention and confidentiality agreements;
• research and development agreements;
• licensing, distribution and manufacturing agreements;
• dealing with intellectual property infringements, enforcements and disputes;
• buying, selling and transferring intellectual property rights;
• compliance with privacy, spam and data management requirements;
• dealing with misleading and deceptive conduct; and
• assisting with advertising, marketing campaigns and trade promotions.