Should you DIY your IP protection?

Don’t make the mistake of thinking IP protection is as simple as filing online. An experienced IP attorney protects you against legal woes now and down the line.

Don't expose yourself to undue risk - approach an IP lawyer today.

Every business wants to become leaner and cut expenses wherever possible. Given the availability of the Australian government's online intellectual property (IP) registration platforms, you might be tempted to forego professional legal advice and move the trademark and patent management into the hands of an executive assistant.

Think twice.

While it's somewhat easier to apply for patents or trademarks yourself now, there's a lot more below the surface that means you could be opening yourself to otherwise avoidable risk. The cost of DIY IP comes not so much in the form of cash, but lost opportunity, legal complications and wasted time. Let's discuss the hidden benefits of working with experienced IP attorneys.

1. Achieve the right level of protection

Just like any part of the law, the very letter of a piece of legislation can create loopholes that need to be filled to properly protect your IP.

Both patents and trademarks rely on specifications to determine the scope of protection.

Take patents, for example. The specification is based on the description of your product. If you were to be too narrow in your definition of a product's purpose, you might open up opportunities for other parties to patent a near identical production under a slightly different specification, even if that purpose is shared between your product and the other party's.

Conversely, being too broad could mean your patent conflicts with an existing one and is therefore declined.

Choosing to work with trusted and experienced IP attorneys like the team at Alder IP means the work of extensive patent searches and appropriate specification is in the hands of professionals. You can rest assured your attorney will work to fill any loopholes to protect you from risk.

An IP attorney helps you sort through the complications and loopholes that can come with IP law.An IP attorney helps you sort through the complications and loopholes that can come with IP law.

2. Address any negative examination reports

Should you receive a negative response to your self-filed application for a patent or trademark, a great IP attorney can quickly address objections.

It's not uncommon for self-filers to see negative reports as an outright rejection and fail to pursue the patent or trademark. However, objections outlined in a report may not be as severe as they first seem. An IP attorney has the knowledge to apply strategies quickly and overcome these hurdles.

The application process for IP protections can be longwinded, usually taking over seven months in the best of cases. You don't want to drag this process out any longer than necessary – you want to be protected as soon as possible. So it's important you use an IP attorney from the start, or consult with one as soon as you receive objections.

3. Develop a long-term IP protection strategy

Your IP protection doesn't necessarily stop at patents and trademarks – and neither should your strategy.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking your IP protection is a one-and-done process.

Trademarks, for example, need to be renewed and must be used within three years to avoid risk of opposition. An IP attorney can help you keep track of your obligations to maintain protections in the long-term, not just today.

Consider that you might rebrand or develop new products – it's vital you have a trusted team of professionals on your side who can advise you of the best way to protect your new IP. An attorney can also help to strategically navigate complications well beyond registration, such as litigation, due diligence and negotiating settlements.

Your IP protection doesn't necessarily stop at patents and trademarks – and neither should your strategy.

What you might spend on an IP attorney is made up for with more straightforward legal processes, confidence that you're adequately protected against infringement and time that you can spend on growing your business or refining your innovations.

Don't expose yourself to undue risk. Reach out to an experienced team of IP professionals – contact Alder IP today.