Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 11th Aug 2011 09:22 UTC
Legal Earlier this week, we were introduced to a new concept in intellectual property law: the European 'Community Design'. The Community Design is a sort of trademark on design, and sits halfway between a trademark and a patent. I decided to investigate what, exactly, the laws and regulations around Community Designs are, and what I found was shocking. Think the USPTO is bad? Wait until you learn about the Community Design.
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RE: the Australian system
by raboof on Fri 12th Aug 2011 16:15 UTC in reply to "the Australian system"
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In Australia there is no prior art requirement. We have a 'first to lodge' patent system.

Uh, no you don't? Australia requires patents to be 'novel' at the time of submission. To determine whether the invention is 'novel', a prior art search (called 'examination') is done. The difference is, in Australia you can apply for and get the patent without doing the examination. If you want to hold up your patent in court, though, the examination will have to happen, and if prior art is found, the patent is invalidated.

There might not be a prior art requirement for getting a patent, but there is one for enforcing it.

In Australia you initially apply for a patent pending. This protects your idea until the product can be commercialised.

'Patent pending' simply means the procedure for getting a patent for this product has been started. It does not give any protection in itself, but *if* the patent is later granted, you can sue anyone who used the idea since the moment you started the process (called the 'priority date').

Edited 2011-08-12 16:16 UTC

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