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The dangers of disclosure

When a new product or process is developed it is essential to consider intellectual property protection before details are published.

With few exceptions, valid patent or design protection cannot be obtained if there has been publication of an innovation before an application for protection has been filed at the Intellectual Property Office.

“Publication” refers to any non-confidential disclosure as well as confidential offers for sale and commercial use.

Confidentiality agreements can be used when it is necessary to disclose details of an innovation to another party prior to filing an application. Legal remedies are then available in the event of an unauthorised disclosure of confidential information.

We prepare and review confidentiality agreements.

It is not necessary to register a trade mark before it is used. Applications to register trade marks are often filed after the marks have been used. However, it is inadvisable to use a trade mark without first determining whether that use might infringe someone else’s existing trade mark rights.

It is important for you to consult us regarding your rights and those of others before you go public with a new product, process, or trade mark.