The global nature of the modern world means that it is difficult for Australians to keep track of their intellectual property, as infringements can now come from almost any country.
Australian sawmill manufacturer Lucas Mill recently discovered just how valuable it is to register a patent in Australia after a Chinese company was found to be selling its own products as if they were produced by Lucas Mill.
Obviously, there are a number of negative effects patent infringement of this nature can have on a business. In Lucas Mill's case, there was the potential for financial damage, as the alleged offenders were selling their own product under the Lucas Mill name, taking sales away from the company.
There was also the opportunity for reputational damage. The Chinese company is alleged to have been selling its own counterfeit products as if they were produced by Lucas Mill. If they were of inferior quality, their sale could have damaged the company's brand.
According to an August 13 article in The Border Mail, the company has always invested in patent application, a business strategy that has now proven its worth for Lucas Mill.
"Over the years we've spent a lot of money on patents and we were probably lucky in China," said owner Warren Lucas. "It could cripple your business trying to protect yourself."
"We were in a position to take that chance."
Thankfully for Lucas Mill, the Chinese authorities were cooperative, with the country's customs services stopping an alleged counterfeit order so it could be presented to a judge for inspection.
So far, the offending company has been forced to pay Lucas Mill over $400,000 in damages.
IP Australia believes that businesses need to have an infringement strategy in place so they are prepared to deal with similar incidents. Alder IP can ensure you get the assistance you or your business needs. If you require IP services in Sydney, give the team a call for a free consultation.