With the enthusiasm associated with developing an invention and preparing to take it to market, some inventors fall prey to people who purport to help inventors and make money from their invention. While most people involved in the commercialization sector of innovation are legitimate, there are those intent on fleecing the inventor and have little knowledge of the area of intellectual property and the commercialization of intellectual property.
Recently, we became aware of a business with offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane that claim that they can assist the inventor in commercializing their invention. Part of their process was to disclose the invention, seek commercial agreements, and sell product before obtaining patent protection. The inventor was made aware by us that any disclosure in a non-confidential manner or any commercial sales of their invention would prevent them from obtaining of a valid patent in most countries around the world. Without a valid patent, it would be impossible to secure any license agreement or have a monopoly to commercially exploit the invention. The inventor was not made aware of this fact and should they have continued further with this business, they would have lost everything.
Under Australian law, only Australian registered Patent Attorneys can draft patents, amend patent specifications during examination of the patent application and act on behalf of the inventor before the Australian Patent Office. Lawyers and solicitors are not registered to practice before the Australian Patent Office. Marketers and business advisors are not qualified to provide patent and intellectual property advice.
We are continually surprised by the persistence of such scams and the damage they do in purporting to help inventors.
Before engaging a person to assist with your invention, we recommend that you ask them whether they are an Australian registered patent attorney. If they fail to answer the question or answer in the negative, then seek patent and intellectual property advice elsewhere.
If you have any questions or wish to discuss the matter further, please do not hesitate to contact us.