Protecting trademark and intellectual property is set to become less cumbersome and expensive for SMEs and start-ups with the launch of a new government service.
IP Australia, the government organisation responsible for overseeing trademarking, patents and intellectual property (IP) protection, has launched an IP Mediation Referral Service.
According to Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Craig Laundy, SMEs in particular will be able to better protect their IP with a simpler and more cost-effective approach to dispute resolution.
He said in a statement that mediation in particular has proved highly effective in resolving IP disputes in up to 70 per cent of cases globally.
“The whole point of this service is to increase the value of intellectual property by providing cost-effective options to protect it,” he said.
“One criticism of IP is it’s too expensive to protect, however with the IP Mediation Referral Service we are providing potentially cheaper alternatives to court action and making it easily accessible to Australian business.”
Indeed the expense, as well as the time, associated with pursuing breaches of IP is often sighted by SMEs as the reason for them deciding not to secure patents and trademarks over their goods, services, designs and processes.
My Business has heard from numerous business owners that pondered the decision to formally protect their IP, but decided instead that getting their product or service to market first would help them gain the market credibility needed to put them on the map.
“At IP Australia, we have a strong emphasis on supporting start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs because they are large contributors to jobs, growth and innovation in Australia. Providing access to affordable enforcement to these entities is a priority,” said IP Australia’s director general, Patricia Kelly.
“This is a great initiative that will help increase IP confidence for Australian businesses.”
My Business recently spoke with specialist IP lawyer Tim Staley of Griffith Hack about what to do when a big business copies your idea, who provided some valuable insights into the options available for SMEs.