22 December 2011

File the Patent Application as Soon as Possible

Here's an interesting article from the excellent LoTempio Law Blog.  This post explains how Facebook got lucky in a case where it was found that its software infringed a patent. Fortunately for Facebook, that patent was found to be invalid because of disclosures made before the patent application was filed.

Interestingly, the case shows that the engine running Facebook is someone else's invention. Also interesting are the questions raised by the author concerning Zuckerberg's conduct at the time when he supposedly "invented" Facebook. All very intriguing...

Given the present value of Facebook, the failure to file early was a huge mistake on the part of the patentee.

16 December 2011

Big Bash Out for a Duck

The other day I was busy attempting to fight off the ravages of old age by moving some weights around in my garage. I enjoy listening to "Hot Tomato", a popular local radio station when I do this kind of thing.

My ears pricked up when I heard one of the presenters complain, jokingly, about the branding used by the "Big Bash League", a cricket tournament between various clubs around Australia. The presenter felt that not much thought had been given to the team names. I must agree. Let's see what we have.

"Adelaide Strikers" - not even a scintilla of imagination.
" Brisbane Heat" - sounds like a police show.
"Hobart Hurricanes" - what starts with "H"?
"Melbourne Renegades" - this is cricket...not some revived glam rock band...
"Melbourne Stars" - Ooh, that must have been difficult...

Australia is a vast land full of exciting words and imagery. And this is what they come up with?  Sad, really...

10 December 2011

Effexor Patent Denied Priority Date

Case


Sigma Pharmaceuticals (Australia) Pty Ltd v Wyeth [2011] FCAFC 132

Lesson:

Applicants should always ensure that the specification currently on file tracks developments. For example, when it becomes clear that a preferred formulation is no longer specifically described, action should be taken immediately so as not to lose the ability to protect that formulation. Failure to do so could result in the public release of the formulation before an amendment or a divisional is filed, leading to disastrous consequences, such as the inability to enforce the patent.

06 December 2011

Patent Filings Still on the Increase in the U.S.

Here is an interesting article from the Lo Tempio blog.

It appears that in spite of of all the doom and gloom, there have been a record number of patent applications filed for the United States 2011 fiscal year. If you have the time, the "Performance and Accountability Report" would make interesting reading.

Clearly, even if times are tough, failure to file a patent application can have detrimental consequences in two or three years' time. The reason is simply that both here and in the United States, it can take 2 to 3 years before a patent is actually granted. If the economy has picked up by then and you have failed to file a patent application two or three years earlier, you could be missing out on the gravy train. I suspect this is why the number of applications per year is still climbing in the US and particularly in China.

30 November 2011

Samsung v Apple - Injunction Overturned but Orders Stayed

As the struggle continues, the Federal Court has overturned the injunction by Apple against Samsung. However, it appears that the Galaxy might not hit the stores by Christmas. Apple's legal counsel has managed to get the orders stayed until 4 PM on Friday pending an appeal to the High Court.

Here's a good article on this: http://www.zdnet.com.au/galaxy-tab-ban-overturned-in-australia-339327063.htm?fb_ref=fb

29 November 2011

China - The Awakening Patent Power

This is an interesting article on how serious China is about patents. The time for being suspicious and patronising is over.
China awakening patent power

24 October 2011

Patent Myths - Changing the Invention

One of the patent myths I hear regularly is what I like to call the 10% rule. It's often couched as follows: "My mate told me that it's pointless to get a patent because someone just needs to change it by 10% and they can get around the patent". Attempting to keep all traces of condescension out of my voice, I ask earnestly: "If I gave you a pair of scissors, how would you change it by 10%?"

The marginally better remark I hear is: "I've heard that there's no point in getting a patent because someone just has to change it a little bit and they can get around the patent". This remark is marginally better because there are many patents out there which define a patent so narrowly that a small variation will be sufficient to avoid infringement.

12 October 2011

Australian Designs - Absolute Novelty

Here's an interesting article from Gilbert & Tobin.

We often have to give both patent and design registration advice to clients. It's important to remember that there is no grace period for filing an application to register a design in Australia. So applicants must either file in the first instance while the design is still confidential or make use of the 6 month convention period as provided in the Paris Convention.

At the end of the day, the rule remains: keep it secret until you have had a discussion with your patent attorney.

Here is some more information on the registration of designs - http://beagar.com.au/Registered%20Designs.htm

05 October 2011

Home-based Business Advice

Here's an interesting and useful article for all of you that are contemplating working from home. It's a challenge, but I can certainly recommend it, since I am one of the lucky ones that do work from home.

Why in an IP blog? Well, many of my clients do have home-based businesses. Also, many looking to file patent or trade mark applications need to find ways of keeping their overheads down. Working from home is definitely one way of doing that.

It's written from a US perspective, but it remains highly appropriate for us here in Australia

http://www.allbusiness.com/running-home-based-business/16640691-1.html

02 October 2011

Raising the Patent Bar - Part II (The Innovation Patent)

In my post of 28 July 2011, I discussed some aspects of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2011.

In this post, I will have a look at how it's going to effect our innovation patent system. Also, the Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) has recently released an issues paper which discusses some concerns with our innovation patent system with a view to initiating a discussion as to whether or not it should be reviewed.

22 September 2011

Computer Implemented Purchase of Domain Names - Not Patentable

Here's another decision where "computer implementation" does not provide the necessary subject matter -

In short, it is simply not enough that a computer is used. The nature of the invention must be such that it is practically necessary to make use of a computer. In this case, I think that further technical information should have been supplied as to how the method was automated and what advantages those provided over and above carrying out the steps manually. On the other hand, having briefly read the specification, there is clearly an argument to me made that computer implementation is necessary.

There is invention in automation, of course, so I believe that the Commissioner and our courts need to be wary of simply relying on the fact that a computer-implemented invention can be carried out manually since that may me saying that automating an otherwise manual operation is not proper subject matter.

21 September 2011

Computer Implemented Insurance Plan - Not Patentable

Discovery Holdings Limited [2011] APO 56


"From reading the specification as a whole the alleged invention lies within the method of managing a life insurance plan. The steps involved in this process are mere actions to be taken by legal entities as elements in a business scheme and as such, no concrete, tangible, physical or observable effect is produced as a result of the implementation of the claimed method. Therefore the method is not a manner of manufacture." - The Delegate


I couldn't have said it better.

8 Reasons Why Pirating Hurts Everyone

I realise that this is not strictly speaking associated with the registration of IP. But it is related and very relevant.
http://www.internetserviceproviders.org/blog/2011/8-reasons-why-pirating-hurts-everyone/.

Worth a read.

10 September 2011

Alignment of US and International Patent Practice

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), H.R. 1249, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on June 23, 2011, and by the U.S. Senate on September 8, 2011. The bill now goes to President Obama to be signed into law. http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/aia_implementation.jsp

One of the most important provisions of this Act is that it introduces a "first-to-file" system as opposed to the "first-to-invent" system that is currently in place. This will bring the US system into line with the "first-to-file" system used in Australia. While it has its detractors, I welcome this change because, to some extent, it saves my clients having to adopt a different set of rules for the US. In the complex world of patent practice, any such alignment is to be welcomed.

Here's the wiki on the difference between the two systems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_to_file_and_first_to_invent

31 August 2011

Tilting at Windmills?

A meeting I had the other day prompted me to write this post. My prospective client was a bright young man who appeared to have done quite a bit of research himself. His source was the IP Australia website. There's no doubt that IP Australia's website is extremely useful, both for practitioners and inventors.

But let us go back to the principles of our Patents Act. As you will see, there are clearly two sides to the patent system. One side is the government, represented by IP Australia. The other side is the Applicant, being that person or organisation attempting to acquire a granted patent.

Why this need for two sides? It's important to understand the answer. The patent system is based on a quid pro quo. The government will give the inventor/s the right to exclude all other Australians from exploiting the invention for the life of the patent. In return, the inventor/s must give sufficient information to the public so that, when the patent expires, the public can exploit the invention. The instrument for enabling this quid pro quo is the patent specification.

It is the role of IP Australia to investigate whether or not the government should enter into the quid pro quo. It is not the role of IP Australia to enable the quid pro quo. In other words, IP Australia is not obligated to act in favour of the inventor/s. On the contrary, IP Australia's role is simply that of a proposed party to an agreement. The fact that IP Australia ostensibly encourages the filing of patent applications is contrary to the spirit of the Patents Act, even though it is admirable.

So you need to bear in mind that dealing with IP Australia yourself is akin to entering into an agreement with another party without professional assistance. Of course, this sounds like a plug for the profession and perhaps you have reason to be jaundiced. But please at least phone around and do some homework before dismissing the option of consulting a patent attorney.

17 August 2011

A Rough Guide to Patent Searching

I often meet prospective clients that have a simple, but clever concept.  It is invariably mechanical and he or she is not sufficiently cashed up to add the cost of a professional search to patent application costs, product development costs, marketing costs, etc. However, a search is mandatory, in my opinion.

So, what to do? Well, it is possible to carry out your own search, quite effectively.  There are a number of free patent searching websites. I describe a few below. The list is not exhaustive and you should do your own investigations as well.

12 August 2011

Patent Prosecution Highway - Update

A number of countries have entered into bilateral agreements in an attempt to speed up patent prosecution. This is an excellent initiative and one that I support wholeheartedly.

WIPO has some news about this system in its latest newsletter: http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/filing/pct_pph.html.

10 August 2011

Seafood Innovations enforces innovation patents

Case:  Seafood Innovations Pty Ltd v Richard Bass Pty Ltd [2011] FCAFC 83

Construction

The fish stunning machine covered by the patents had a fish stunning device, a fish guide and a trigger. The fish is moved in one direction from an entrance to an exit.

Relevantly, one of the claims set out: "the fish guide includes a floor being pivotally mounted between a first position and a second position, the floor moving from the first position to the second position to allow a fish to pass unidirectionally from the entrance to the exit".

The Bass devices included a pivotally mounted floor which moves from the first position to the second position. But they also included a cheek plate and a top plate.  So the three devices acted together as a sphincter  to allow the fish to pass unidirectionally.  Bass contended that the devices did not infringe the claim because it was not the floor alone that allowed the fish to pass.

A common sense construction was adopted. There was evidence from a skilled addressee that the Bass devices and the apparatus of the claims of the first innovation patent operated in the same way and that there is no practical difference in terms of the purpose of the apparatus in this context. 

Fair Basis

Bass pointed out that the pivotally moveable floor was the only description of the fish guide in the specification.  The description stated that the fish guide “comprises” (in the sense of consists of) the floor. Bass said that that made the pivotally moveable floor an essential integer of the invention which must, therefore, be included in the claims. On the other hand, Seafood Innovations said that the description of such a fish guide is but one embodiment of the apparatus broadly described, without any such limitation.

Bass followed the incorrect approach of seeking to isolate essential integers from the body of the specification in understanding the claimed invention.  As held in Lockwood Security v Doric Products [2004] HCA 58, a narrow embodiment of a broad claim does not render the claim invalid for lack of fair basis.

Lessons

Perhaps the most important message to come out of this decision is the reference to "common sense".  It is always necessary to adopt a common sense construction.  In order to do so, we always need to refer back to the skilled addressee and how he/she might read the document.

09 August 2011

Canberra and Big Tobacco

Here is an excellent discussion from ABC Radio National: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lawreport/stories/2011/3287889.htm

I found the discussion regarding the extinguishing of trade mark owners' rights and possible compensation by the Australian government particularly interesting.  Also, it appears that the plain packaging legislation could be in breach of an investment treaty we have with Hong Kong that specifically protects IP rights.

It will be intriguing to watch how this plays out.

28 July 2011

Raising the Patent Bar - Part I

In a previous post, I said that I would make some comments on the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2011. In this post, I comment on the issues relating to standard patent applications. In a further post, I will continue with some further discussions, time permitting.

In the meantime, it may be useful to read the material available here.

As I work my way through this material, I am realising that an interesting future awaits us patent attorneys. Part of this will be explaining to our clients why our charges have increased. Alternatively, those patent attorneys who tend to "overreach" can possibly justify their invoices.

The proposed changes certainly place a heavy onus on us. Whether or not this is passed on in the way of increased charges awaits to be seen. I can safely say that it would indeed be foolhardy for innovators to attempt to go down the path of self-filing once the Bill is passed.

Also, I find it sad that such rich interpretations of phrases such as "fair basis" handed down by our courts over the years will become largely redundant as we are obliged to turn to guidelines handed down by foreign jurisdictions. Perhaps I'm being romantic, but to me, that's simply un-Australian.

Our profession is not immune from the effects of globalisation. However, I fail to understand why our courts are not permitted to simply and firmly direct interpretation towards the global norm, if such a thing exists.

Furthermore, there appears to be much focus on the law in the US and in Europe. Personally, the massive growth of filings in China and Korea (while ours has remained relatively stagnant - much to my irritation) would tend to indicate that we should perhaps be collaborating with those jurisdictions to a larger extent when developing new law.

Technical Disclosure - E-Commerce and Software

I have recently been dealing with a number of matters related to e-commerce platforms and associated software.

Many applicants are entrepreneurs who have conceived of a plan to achieve some or other efficiency using a customised e-commerce platform.

Such platforms are often defined by various "bolt on" modules that interact to produce the platform or application. This can make a patent attorney's task very difficult. There are usually two reasons for this. Firstly, the client has largely contracted the task out to some developer or development company. Secondly, neither the client nor the developer can easily explain the particular technical difficulties which have been overcome to achieve the product. As a result, we are often presented with a list of advantages or potential outcomes.

Such information is of little use to a patent attorney, apart from perhaps embellishing various technical features of the product. Our Patents Act and equivalents in most countries require that a patent specification must disclose at least one embodiment of the invention. That disclosure needs to be "sufficient". In other words, a reasonably skilled person (whose identification is no easy task) should be able to recreate that embodiment without having to employ inventive faculties.

Clearly, therefore, a list of outcomes or advantages is simply inadequate.

It follows that if you are such an entrepreneur, you need to ensure that some form of communication is set up between your developer and a patent attorney. This will ensure that the patent attorney can be availed of the proper technical information required to prepare an adequate patent specification.

The fact that you may be using a developer may in itself create complications, but that's for another post.

23 June 2011

IP Laws Amendment Bill 2011

The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising The Bar) Bill 2011 was introduced into the Senate on 22 June 2011. Here's your link.

I will do my best to report on this in the next week or so.

16 June 2011

Delegate Tests Amazon's One-Click Invention

Case: Telstra Corporation Limited v Amazon.com, Inc. 2011 APO 28

Summary:  Opposition to grant – ecommerce ordering system – construction of claims – whether claims comply with s40 – whether meaning of “single action” clear – whether claims novel – whether claims lack inventive step.

26 April 2011

IP Clauses in Licensing Agreements

Case - Larkden Pty Limited -v- Lloyd Energy Systems Pty Limited [2011] NSWSC 268 

One aspect of this case deals with the powers of an arbitrator as opposed to the Commissioner of Patents and the Federal Court.  More specifically, an arbitrator can resolve a dispute between a licensor and a licensee claiming rights to an invention provided the dispute is with respect to the licensing agreement itself and does not impinge on third party rights.

This kind of dispute emphasises the need for a licensing agreement to do more than just simply state for example that the licensor shall own intellectual property relating to improvements or developments to the invention that is the subject of the agreement.

My recommendation is that the agreement contains clauses that allow for the licensor to be kept up to date with developments and improvements before they are made public.

The agreement should allow the licensor the option to register any intellectual property in its own name related to the developments and improvements.

The agreement should also obligate the licensee to execute any documents or take any further steps which may be necessary to secure the registration of that intellectual property in the name of the licensor, including, but not limited to, assigning that intellectual property to the licensor.  This is particularly important for those jurisdictions, such as the United States, where patent applications must be filed in the name/s of the inventor/s.

01 March 2011

Some Useful Trade Mark Tips from Federal Court

Case: Hills Industries Limited v Bitek Pty Ltd [2011] FCA 94

Being a busy solo, I've not had a lot of time to wallow around in cases as much as I'd like.  But this one caught my attention, thanks to my "editor" at CCH.

It's worth a read, especially for us busy filing trade mark applications and getting involved in disputes before the Registrar.

Here are some practice tips from that case:

1. When preparing a trade mark application, make sure to use words such as "includes/including".  The court held that this means that trade mark would be considered to be in relation to goods of like kind to goods following such words.  This is far better than trying to list everything you can think of.  It might sound trite, by you'd be surprised how many people get it wrong.

2. When preparing evidence to show a reputation, make sure that you're showing that the trade mark has a reputation, not necessarily the goods/services.  So evidence of sales and marketing must clearly show use of the trade mark.

3. Just because your client, the applicant, is seeking removal of a registered trade mark through non-use, does not mean that it is not infringing that registered trade mark.  You should advise the applicant of this potential hazard.

23 February 2011

Codifying Patentable Subject Matter

One thing that I admire about our Patents Act is the fact that what constitutes patentable subject matter has been left to our courts to interpret.  Most of our judiciary are brighter than our lawmakers.  Also, technology is shifting and changing.  Ongoing tests of what is patentable and what not by our courts is fluid and is probably the only way to keep up with technology.

So, it was with some distaste that I noticed that the recent ACIP Report recommends that the Patents Act be changed to codify the principles of inherent patentability.  The wording from the key points of the report is "the recommendations propose a restatement of the law in words that are currently applied by the courts".  It seems to me that ACIP would have the test frozen in time.  In 15 to 20 years' time will the test still be relevant? 

ACIP believes that the Act should codify the principles as developed by the High Court in the NRDC case. So now we'll have a situation where the High Court will have to assess how the authorities have adopted the principles of the NRDC case instead of possibly re-assessing or even over-turning that case.  Clearly, this limits the discretion of the High Court to make changes in step with changing technology.

Not satisfied with that, ACIP also recommends a general exclusion that precludes "the patenting of inventions the commercial exploitation of which would be wholly offensive to the ordinary reasonable and fully informed member of the Australian public."  At the moment, the courts only have to deal with what is generally inconvenient.  So again, ACIP proposes to limit the High Court's discretion.  In any event, how do we deal with "wholly offensive"? As with technology, cultural norms are constantly changing.  We need a fluid system to handle those changes, not codification.


10 February 2011

Early Patent Enforcement

I was recently instructed to enter national phase in Australia and to do my best to get acceptance by the end of 2010.  For those readers not familiar with Australian practice, acceptance is effectively an acknowledgement by the examiner that the invention defined by the claims qualifies for patent protection.  Here's a flowchart.  The reason for the urgency was that the applicant was in the throes of finalising a licence agreement.  The licensee would only sign if there was a favourable examination report by an examining office. The task was not an easy one, since I was instructed early in December 2010.

My advice was to identify material in the specification that was descriptive of the product to be commercialized in Australia.  Claims that are limited in scope to that material could then be crafted and filed together with a divisional application for a patent based on the parent application.  I prepared a memorandum describing how the claims, in their amended form, defined an invention that was both novel and inventive and I filed that together with a request for expedited examination, explaining the need for the urgency.

As a reflection of the good service I've always received from IP Australia, I received a first report within about 2 weeks.  Two days later, I filed a response.  The Notice of Acceptance issued on 24 December 2010.

Of course, you won't always have an outcome like that.  But this is a good example of how the divisional process together with the option of requesting expedited examination can be used to achieve early acceptance.

A problem with this approach is that once the application is accepted, it still has to be published for a period of 3 months for opposition purposes before the Deed of Letters Patent can be issued.

This is where the innovation patent comes in. See here for a number of posts on the innovation patent. And here is a flowchart.

It is possible to file a divisional application from a pending international application or a pending application for a standard patent in Australia.  In the case of the international application, that application must be published before you do so.

Once you file a divisional for an innovation patent, it will be granted, without substantive examination, within about three to four weeks.  In that state, it cannot be enforced.  It is then necessary to request certification.  This involves an examination of the application.  If successful the examination will be certified.  This can take as little as just one month from filing the request.  It follows that in an ideal situation, you will be in a condition to enforce your rights in as little as two months.  Realistically, you should budget for about three months from the date of filing the application for the innovation patent.

As with the divisional for the standard patent, the claims for the innovation patent can be crafted to cover the product in question.  That product could be the product you wish to commercialize or could be an infringing product.

It's important to bear in mind that the claims prepared for the innovation patent must be "fairly based" on the material in the parent application.  See here for a number of posts on the meaning of "fairly based".  It follows that you need to be sure that the infringing product is actually covered by the parent application.

It does appear that the authorities are regarding this strategy with some hostility.  The innovation patent was established to help the "little guy" get patent protection with as little fuss as possible.  As with most attempts to "help" the authorities have miscalculated somewhat.  The courts have also recently being interpreting the scope of innovation patents a bit more stringently even though there is no basis in the Patents Act for doing so.  These are indications that the Act may change soon, closing the door on this strategy.

You should consider this option sooner rather than later if you happen to have a pending international application or application for a standard patent in Australia.

15 January 2011

Filing and Prosecution - Best Practices - ABA Webinar

I'm delighted and privileged to announce that the American Bar Association's (ABA) IP Section will be hosting a webinar by Neal Schutte and me on the above topic.  Neal is senior IP Adviser at Rio Tinto. 

The webinar will be a practical and easily understood explanation of how to achieve the best out of the various prosecution options in Australia and New Zealand.  It also includes a discussion of the Innovation Patent System, an increasingly popular tool for early enforcement in Australia.

Here's the link: http://www.abanet.org/cle/programs/t11bpf1.html.

12 January 2011

Psychological analysis and therapy not a "manner of manufacture"

The Delegate has found that a method for "facilitating  a person to integrate an inconsistency by comparison" in order to enhance personal effectiveness was not proper subject matter. Here's the case.

The applicant attempted to argue that the method of the claims produced an "observable effect" because it resulted in a change in the emotional and, consequently, the physiological state of the subject.  But the Delegate said that this was not the sort of "physical phenomenon or effect" anticipated in Grant.  Also, it was not an "artificially created state of affairs" within the meaning of NRDC.

The method claimed appeared "to be merely a process of psychological analysis and therapy based on analysing the subject’s responses to questions. It solely concerns human interactions and behaviours and is distinguishable from, for example, a method of treating a psychological condition with a drug producing a particular physiochemical interaction with the human body."

The Delegate said that " the subject matter of the claims clearly falls within the fine rather than useful arts in the same way as legal analysis and reasoning was not found to be patentable in Grant."

See also my post of 11 August 2010.

11 January 2011

Patent Attorneys Expensive?

Here's an excellent article from IPWatchdog - You may think it has little relevance because it's a US-based article.  That would be dangerous.  Your Australian patent attorney is often tasked with preparing patent specifications that have to stand scrutiny in the US.  After all, most Australian entrepreneurs are looking for a berth in that massive market. 

In short, the article argues that you get what you pay for.  That's perenially true.  A decent patent attorney will attempt to wear many jurisdictional hats when preparing your patent specification.  If the job seems expensive remember that he or she is potentially trying to garner an exclusive international monopoly for you. That specification could find itself in front of a patent examiner in Europe, where the need for good drafting is perhaps more acute than in the US. And people pay half a million dollars for a house on an irrelevant patch of land...

Never forget the golden rule in drafting:  if it's not there when you file the International Application, you won't be able to add it later.  That means as much material as possible presented with great skill if you want a decent specification.

IP and Business Consultants

I had the misfortune of having my judgement questioned by a so-called business adviser. He was particularly interested in why I had bothered to file a patent application for a particular client of his when "it did not appear that the invention would qualify even for an innovation patent". I immediately went on to the offensive and asked whether or not he knew what it was that would allow an invention to "qualify" for an innovation patent.

Given that an innovation patent will always be granted subject to passing a formalities test, I was already using inaccurate language. However, I thought it was appropriate given the level of understanding held by this particular business adviser. In any event, it appeared that he was completely ignorant of the test for an "innovative step". For a discussion in connection with this requirement, see my post of 2 July 2009.

This altercation was a stark reminder of the need to select an appropriate expert. Patents can be extremely complicated, particularly when one is attempting to understand the rather nebulous principles of inventive and innovative steps. After all, questions concerning these principles regularly find themselves presented in the highest court of the land. For a business consultant to provide any sort of opinion as to whether or not an invention is patentable would be unethical to say the least, provided of course the business consultant is not an ex-patent attorney.

The business adviser’s call was made on the basis of an Internet search that he'd carried out. The result he so proudly presented to me had the physical appearance of a preferred example of the invention described in the patent application in question. Based on that he was prepared to advise his client that he thought that the invention was not patentable. Sadly, business advisers are not bound by the same code of ethics that bind us patent attorneys.

So, if you're sitting down with a business adviser and he or she begins prattling on about patents, please make sure that you check his or her credentials.

09 January 2011

Queensland Funding for Green Innovation

Happy New Year to all my readers.

I'm starting the New Year off with some good news from Queensland government. I recently received a letter advising me that the Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund (QSEIF) provides funding assistance for Queensland-based individuals or organisations to develop innovative technologies that reduce consumption of fossil fuels, water or greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the letter, QSEIF funding can offset up to 80% of external project costs. The cost of filing a patent application is recognised as eligible  project expenditure up to a level of 10% of the project costs or a maximum of $10,000.

The appropriate time to apply for funding might be immediately after the initial novelty search. See here for my post on searching.

Contact me if you want more information. Alternatively, the brochure can be downloaded here.