IP basics for business

[Music plays] (Female) Whatever business you’re in, to stay ahead of the competition your creativity, ideas and innovations are crucial. (Male) And much of that is intellectual property, or IP for short. Whatever business you’re in IP is your business. (Female) Small business owners and inventors are busy. Many don’t think about IP until it’s too late. Only one out of seven people understand the basic IP concepts in this video and these are things that can help you avoid simple, costly and irreversible mistakes. For example did you know that registering your business name offers no protection for your logo or brand? (Male) So what can IP do for your business? IP helps you make money and manage risk, usually over a set period of time. There are six different types of IP. Some require registration while others are automatic. How many do you know? Patents for inventions. Trade marks for brands. Designs for how a product looks. Plant breeder’s rights. Copyright for creative works like books, music and art. And circuit layout rights. Let’s take a look at the three main registered rights as well as copyright. These are the common types of IP you may encounter. [Music plays] (Female) A patent is an exclusive right to commercialise or license your invention for up to 20 years. As with any registered IP you should apply for a patent in each country where you’ll be doing business. Registration is not a rubber stamp, you have to meet a set of criteria. It has to be new, inventive and useful. New means no-one else has already invented it. You must keep it secret before you apply. If you’ve already gone public with your invention you may not get a patent. By inventive we mean skilled people in your industry would not find your invention an obvious thing to do. Finally your invention must have a useful function and actually work. It makes sense. [Music plays] (Male) Let’s move on to trade marks. A registered trade mark protects your brand or logo. Registration can last forever, as long as you’re using the mark and paying renewal fees. Unlike patents trade marks don’t have to be new, they don’t have to be a secret, but they do have to be capable of distinguishing what you sell. You can’t own descriptive words or symbols that other traders legitimately need to use. And it must not be so similar to anyone else’s trade mark for similar goods and services that customers might get confused. A registered trade mark, business name and domain name are three separate things to consider, especially when starting a business. However a trade mark is the most valuable because it proves ownership over your brand and your brand is what customers use to identify your products. [Music plays] A registered design is a bit like a patent but lasts only up to ten years. Where patents protect how a product works a registered design protects how it looks. A design must be distinctive where customers can notice the difference in how your product looks. Like patents it has to be completely new. Keep your design a secret if you want to apply for protection. [Music plays] (Male) Designs protect industrially manufactured products, but what about the original plans for that product. That’s where copyright comes in. Copyright protects original creative work such as drawings, books, art, drama, music, software and audio-visual recordings. Copyright is an automatic right that lasts for 70 years after the death of the creator. (Female) You don’t need to register your copyright with any government agency. (Male) As with other IP of fixed length like patents and designs once copyright expires no-one owns it. (Female) And anyone can freely copy it. (Male) Visit IPAustralia.gov.au for more information. [Music plays]

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