Patent an Idea?
We receive many phone calls from Australian inventors who would like to patent an idea. In fact, more-and-more of the general public has come to believe that you can patent an idea. This is mainly due to the explosion of misleading websites offering people to protect or patent an idea. But can you really patent an idea?
Patenting Ideas or Inventions?
The truth is that you cannot patent an idea per se. For example, you may have had an idea to collect energy from the wind but have no actual devised means to collect the energy – this is just an idea, and is not patentable.
However, if you have an idea to collect energy from the wind and then also were able to propose some technical examples of how this may be accomplished, such as by using a rotor connected to an electrical generator, then you have an invention – which certainly can be patented.
It is important to note that you do not need to actually build your invention – but you do need to provide a detailed technical description of how the invention works and how it is to be used. This is why Australian Patent Attorneys have a technical degree such as an engineering degree to ensure that your invention is properly described. We can expertly show you how to patent in Australia and internationally.
How do you Protect an Idea then?
When drafting a patent, a patent attorney will attempt to claim the features of an invention in broad language to allow for the protection not just of your invention but also similar inventions that includes the same broad features or functionality.
Returning to our wind energy device example, we may claim “A device for collecting energy from a moving fluid, the device including a part adapted to be moved by the fluid and a generator coupled to the part…etc.” Now, whilst we still cannot protect the “idea” – we can certainly broadly protect the invention such that it would be difficult for anyone else copy the idea unless they were able to devise a wind energy device without a “part adapted to be moved by the fluid” and a “generator” – this is the power of a well drafted patent.
Taking you from idea to invention
In addition to our tradition patent attorney practice, we also provide engineering services and product design services to take your idea to invention. We can do so with a solid knowledge of patent law to create a product that is both technically sounds but also likely to be patentable. If you like – we can then promote and assist you to market, license or sell your invention.
If you would like to know more or have some questions, please call us for a complimentary initial telephone conference.