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Paul Noonan

Partner at Thomson Geer

18 years PQE
Melbourne, VIC, AU
    Noonan paul 232x257px
    Paul Noonan answered a question
    1 lawyer agreed | almost 9 years ago

    Registering patents

    You could do it yourself but this is not advisable. You should consult a patent attorney with who has technical knowledge and qualifications in the area of the invention. Although you will most likely have all of the technical knowledge needed to describe the invention, there are particular skills in how the specification that needs to be filed is constructed that the patent attorney will be able to help with. In particular, the claims section of the specification describes the scope of the monopoly that you will have for your invention if the patent is registered and language used in describing the claims and they way they are constructed requires skill from the patent attorney. Most patent attorney firm websites will show the technical areas in which individual attorneys operate and many firms will give you a brief initial consultation without charging so that you can explain what you want to do.
    Noonan paul 232x257px
    Paul Noonan answered a question
    1 lawyer agreed | almost 9 years ago

    NDAs

    You should make clear to them that what you are telling them is confidential and that you are only telling them the information on the basis that they will keep it confidential. If you give them any documents, mark them as confidential. More importantly, ask yourself why the person won't sign and NDA. If they haven't given you a good reason (such as that they don't think the NDA you've given them is well drafted or its unreasonable) ask yourself whether it's really a good idea to entrust your idea to someone who has already indicated that they may not treat it as confidential, no matter how much you think they could assist?

    Hello and thanks for your question. It is helpful to consider whether the product you are looking to develop is patentable right from the word go before you spend too much time and money on the new product. Patent protection is a long lasting and strong intellectual property right once you have it in place. The existing patent owner here seems to have a very broad set of claims some of which may or may not be defensible.


    We would recommend seeking professional advice from a patent attorney specialising in the relevant industry for your product. e.g. technology, engineering, chemistry etc or contacting an intellectual property lawyer. Both will be able to assist you to determine whether the scope of the existing patent has been drawn too broadly and is subject to attack. It will also be helpful to confirm that the product you are seeking to develop does not infringe on the existing or other patent owner's rights (ie conducting a freedom to operate search). Depending on the situation you may be able to negotiate an appropriate licence with the patent owner, develop a product outside the claims and seek your own protection or challenge their patent in some way. Good luck with next steps.

    Noonan paul 232x257px
    Paul Noonan answered a question
    2 lawyers agreed | about 9 years ago

    Trademark name and logo

    Australia's Trade Marks Office is part of a Commonwealth Government organisation calledIP Australia. There is some helpful information on the IP Australia website at http://ipaustralia.gov.au/get-the-right-ip/trade-marks/about the procedures for applying to register a trade mark and the applicable government charges. Trade mark registration works on a country by country basis, so an Australian trade mark registration will not coverany other territory. You will have to apply separately in each other country, buthere is a mechanism for filing multiple applicationsfor other countries simultaneously. The IP Australia website also has information about this (seehttp://ipaustralia.gov.au/get-the-right-ip/trade-marks/international-trade-marks/).

    A trade marks lawyer or a trade mark attorney can assist in a number of ways. One important service they can provide is to conductsearches and other advicebefore your application is filed to see if there are any prior conflicting trade marks or other issuesthat might cause problems for your application or for your use of your name and logo. They can also advise you on the details of your application to make sure that it covers the goods and services that your business issupplying or that you intend the business to supply in the future. Surprise, surprise, I think it's a good idea to consult a professional before you start using your intended name and/or logo! That advice will cost a bit, butmightsave you more money (and enable you toavoid time-consumingproblems)down the track.
    Noonan paul 232x257px
    Paul Noonan answered a question
    2 lawyers agreed | about 9 years ago

    Contracts

    By law contracts some types of contracts must be in writing(for example,wills and contracts for sale of land). Apart from that, an enforceable contract can be: (i) entirely verbal; (ii) partly verbal and partly in writing; (iii) in writing but spread across more than one document; or (iv) entirely in writing.

    No matter howthe contract isput together, the key requirements for it to be legally enforceableare that: (i) the identity of the parties is clear; (ii) it must be clear what each party haspromised the other todo, or refrain from doing(this is called consideration and commonly consists of a promise by one partyto pay money in return for a promise by the other part to provide goods and/or services), and that each party has accepted the other party's offer (leaving somethingimportant "to be agreed" can be a contract killer); and (iii) it must be clear that the parties intended to enter into a legallyenforceable relationship. As long as those features are present the nature of the actual language used and the appearance of the document or documentsshouldn't matter.

    The advantage of a written contract that is in one document that issigned by each partyis that (if it's clearly expressed) there should be better evidence of what was agreedand, hopefully, less room for disputes, than otherwise.
    Noonan paul 232x257px
    Paul Noonan answered a question
    2 lawyers agreed | about 9 years ago

    Contracting with children

    Hello

    You can form a contract with a child but the real question is whether you willbe able to enforce it. The answer to that depends to some extenton the State in Australia where the contract is formed. For example, in some States (and again this depends on the circumstances)the child might have the choice of eitherwithdrawing from the contract without penaltyafter signing it,or enforcing the contractagainst the other party. The other party does not have the same flexibility. If this question is important to your business or to the financial or other wellbeing of the child, it would be a good idea to get legal advice before entering into the contract, as the rules vary considerably from State to State.
    Noonan paul 232x257px
    Paul Noonan answered a question
    6 lawyers agreed | about 9 years ago

    If I own the .com domain URL, am I entitled to the .au address?

    Hello there and thanks for your question. The answer is no - your agreement with the registrar for the .com domain name doesn't give you any rights over the corresponding .au domain name. If the .au domain name is available, you can register it separately.