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JacquiPryor
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GraemeSmith, post: 78058 wrote:
I’m looking for funding to protect the concept via trade mark, and retain control within Australia.

Hi Graeme, a few points on this particular comment in your post:

1. You do not and cannot protect a ‘concept’ via trademark. A trademark, by definition is the ‘sign’ one trader uses to distinguish their goods/services from other traders. A sign can be a name, logo, slogan etc. Your register your trademark in connection with the relevant goods/services – for example, if your name for arguments sake is “Graeme’s Golf” you register this name, as a trademark, in connection with golfing goods and/or golfing events. Registration then gives you the right to stop others using that name, in connection with those goods/services – it does not mean others can’t operate the same/similar business concept under a completely different name or trademark.

2. Protecting the ‘concept’ itself is tricky – there’s not really a ‘protection’ for purely mental processes, and often different areas will become involved to protect aspects of the concept, assuming all criteria is met – for example, patents, designs, copyrights (in addition to your trademark). A patent is basically a device, substance, process or method which is new, inventive and useful. If you demonstrate, sell or discuss your invention in public before you file a patent application, you can lose the opportunity to patent it. So, if you need to talk to employees, advisers etc before determining if patents are applicable, have them sign an agreement to not disclose and keep in confidence your ‘concept’.

3. Concerning grants, I am not aware of any in place for Australian trademark registrations – however, Austrade does allow the cost of IP registration/protection to form a part of their export marketing grant, if it is incurred as a marketing/promotional expense – see http://www.austrade.gov.au/What-Is-EMDG/default.aspx for further information. It could be useful to consult an expert on this grant to ensure your promotional plans are correctly drafted to reflect IP protection to assist in rebates through this grant. We have referred several clients to Export Incentives for this – http://www.exportgrants.com.au/.

4. Your post mentioned a ‘mob’ in Canberra… if they happen to be IP Australia, this is the government department looking after trademarks and other forms of IP – so, they are definitely trustworthy! Everything registered, even when you employ an agent to act for you in the area of Trademarks, designs and patents ultimately is done through IP Australia.

If you have questions or need assistance concerning trademark registration and related in Australia, or overseas, feel free to post further to this thread or send my a private message.

All the best,