Patents & Inventions Law & Lawyers

A patent is a right granted for any device, substance, method or process which is new, inventive and useful.

A patent is legally enforceable and gives the owner the exclusive right to commercially exploit the invention for the life of the patent. This is not automatic-you must apply for a patent to obtain exclusive rights to exploit your invention.

There are two types of patents in Australia;

  • a standard patent gives long-term protection and control over an invention for up to 20 years.
  • an innovation patent is a relatively fast, inexpensive protection option, lasting a maximum of 8 years. The innovation patent replaced the petty patent on 24 May 2001.

Patents give effective protection if you have invented new technology that will lead to a product, composition or process with significant long-term commercial gain.

In return, patent applicants must share their know-how by providing a full description of how their invention works. This information becomes public and can provide the basis for further research by others.

Australian patents are administered by the Patent Office of IP Australia, a Federal Government Organisation.

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See also our Intellectual Property Law & Lawyers Section by clicking here.

An outline of the patent system

Historical origins

Patents are the oldest form of intellectual property, but their historical origins are obscure. In England, in the fifteenth century, the monarch began to grant monopoly rights as a means of attracting new industries from continental Europe, but these were more in the nature of a royal licence to avoid the effects of guild regulations than a true grant of exclusive rights to carry on an activity.[4] It was only in the following century that patents began to be granted in respect of inventions, and the patent system was put on a statutory basis for the first time in the seventeenth century with the passage of the Statute of Monopolies 1623 (Statute of Monopolies). Despite its age, this English statute continues to have relevance to Australian patent law today.

As it first developed, the English patent was a slow, costly and cumbersome procedure for encouraging and protecting inventions. The procedure was described in derisory terms by Charles Dickens in a short story published in 1850, ‘A Poor Man’s Tale of a Patent’. Over the years there were many piecemeal reforms to the system, but it was the Patents Act 1883 (UK) that provided the basis of modern patent law.

Patent legislation in Australia has always been closely modelled on that of the United Kingdom. Prior to Federation, each of the Australian colonies had its own legislation based on the Patents Act 1883 (UK). In 1901, the Australian Constitution gave the newly established Commonwealth Parliament power to make laws with respect to ‘copyrights, patents of invention and designs, and trade marks’.In 1903, this power was exercised with the enactment of the Patents Act 1903 (Cth).

As in the United Kingdom, there have been many amendments to Australian patent legislation in response to formal commissions of inquiry. The 1903 Act was re-enacted with substantial changes in 1952 and again in 1990. The Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Patents Act) provides the current legislative framework governing the grant and administration of patents in Australia.

See also our Intellectual Property Law & Lawyers Section by clicking here.

Functions of patents

Patent law has been described as a ‘stressful if fertile union’ between certain contradictory principles: self-interest and the common good; monopoly rights and liberty; the ownership of ideas and public disclosure of knowledge. This union results from the dual goals of patent law—to benefit society by encouraging the provision of new and useful goods, and to encourage and reward inventiveness.

These goals are achieved by providing incentives for innovation and knowledge sharing by granting monopoly rights, for a limited period, to exploit a new product or process. Monopoly rights encourage investment by providing an opportunity to recoup the financial outlays involved in developing an invention. They also reward the inventor by allowing a return to be made on the time and resources expended on research and development.

The limited duration of the monopoly means, however, that the patented invention eventually will be available for free and unrestricted use when the patent term expires: the compromise is thus ‘a way of securing future benefits for the common good’.In addition, patents promote knowledge sharing during the term of the patent by requiring the patent holder to place the details of the invention in the public domain. As one United States judge has stated:

The purpose of the patent system is not only to provide a financial incentive to create new knowledge and bring it to public benefit through new products; it also serves to add to the body of published scientific/technological knowledge. The requirement of disclosure of the details of patented inventions facilitates further knowledge and understanding of what was done by the patentee, and may lead to further technologic advance.

Exploitation of patents

A patent gives the inventor the right to stop others from exploiting the invention for a limited period. However, a patent does not grant an absolute right to exploit an invention in any way the inventor may choose. A patent holder may have to satisfy regulatory requirements in order to exploit the patented product or process; for example, a patented pharmaceutical compound may need approval under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth) before it can be marketed lawfully and sold as a treatment for a particular condition. Similarly, the use of a patented invention is subject to the general law; for example, the components required to manufacture a car may be the subject of many patents, but the car must still be used in accordance with motor traffic laws.

A patent holder is not obliged to exploit a patented invention, but the failure to do so may have implications for the patent holder’s rights. For example, the patent could be subjected to compulsory licensing, or it could be used or acquired by the Crown under relevant provisions of the Patents Act. A patent holder may authorise others to exploit the patent by granting a licence on agreed terms. This may be on an exclusive, sole or non-exclusive basis, and almost certainly will require the licensee to pay royalties or other fees to the patent holder.

It is important to note that while patents are a form of intellectual property, they do not confer ownership in the physical material described in the claims for a patented product or process. Thus, a patent over a genetic sequence does not amount to ownership of the sequence itself.

Criteria for patentability

Although there is considerable variance in detail from one jurisdiction to another, most countries apply similar tests for patentability: an invention must be novel (that is, new), must involve an inventive step, and must have a useful application. In addition, the description of an invention in a patent application must be sufficient to allow a person skilled in the relevant art to create the invention independently.

Briefly, the Patents Act provides that an invention will be patentable if it is a ‘manner of manufacture’ within the meaning of s 6 of the Statute of Monopolies; is novel; involves an inventive or innovative step; is useful; and has not been used secretly within Australia prior to filing the patent application.

Certain inventions are expressly excluded from patentability. Australia has relatively few express exclusions, but they include inventions involving ‘human beings, and the biological processes for their generation’, as well as inventions the use of which would be contrary to law. Other jurisdictions recognise a broader range of exceptions, including inventions involving diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical methods of treatment of humans and animals; and inventions whose commercial exploitation would be contrary to morality or public order.

Australian Patent Law

Australian patent law operates within an international legal framework, which shapes certain procedural and substantive aspects of the patent system.

Australia has enacted legislation that regulates patenting practices within the Australian ‘patent area’ with respect to inventions involving any type of technology. The procedures for obtaining a gene patent in Australia are, broadly speaking, the same as those that apply to patents claiming any other type of technology.

Patents Legislation

Section 51(xviii) of the Australian Constitution grants the Commonwealth Parliament power to make laws with respect to ‘copyrights, patents of inventions and designs, and trade marks’. Pursuant to this power, the Parliament has enacted the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Patents Act) and the Patents Regulations 1991 (Cth) (Patents Regulations).

Patent protection in most countries is available for inventions that are new, involve an inventive step, and have a useful application.

In Australia, the Patents Act provides that an invention is patentable if it:

  • is a ‘manner of manufacture’—that is, the invention is appropriate subject matter for patent protection;
  • is novel;
  • involves an inventive or innovative step;
  • is useful; and
  • has not been used secretly within Australia before the priority date of the patent application.


Administration

The Australian patent system is administered by the Patent Office of IP Australia. IP Australia is a division of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, but operates independently and reports directly to the Minister.

Under the Patents Act, the Commissioner of Patents has the power to grant a patent upon an application being filed with and examined by the Patent Office. IP Australia has developed the Patent Manual of Practice and Procedure (the Manual) to assist Australian patent examiners in applying the Patents Act and Patents Regulations.

State and federal courts and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) also have a role in administering the patent system. Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents may be subject to review by the AAT or the Federal Court of Australia. The AAT may undertake merits review of the Commissioner’s decisions with respect to certain procedural matters prescribed by the Patents Act. A direct application may be made to the Federal Court for judicial review in relation to other decisions of the Commissioner; essentially those related to the grant of patents or matters closely allied to the grant (for example, amendments to patent specifications and revocations).

The Federal Court and state and territory Supreme Courts share original (first instance) jurisdiction over matters relating to the exploitation and enforcement of patent rights, including challenges to patent rights, infringement proceedings and compulsory licences. The AAT has no jurisdiction in relation to such issues.

Types of patents

Australian patent law recognises two principal types of patents:

(1) standard patents and

(2) innovation patents.

An applicant for a patent may elect to obtain protection for an invention under either system. Table A below outlines the key features of, and the difference in the scope of protection conferred by, standard and innovation patents.

Standard patents

A standard patent is the basic form of patent protection for inventions under Australian law and is consistent with the minimum requirements for patent protection under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights 1994 (TRIPS Agreement). Unless otherwise indicated, references to an Australian patent and discussions of patent rights in this Report relate only to the standard patent system.

Innovation patents

The innovation patent is a ‘second tier’ of protection, which was introduced in 2001 to replace the petty patent system.  Innovation patents are intended to provide protection for ‘lower level’ inventions for which standard patent protection is not available and which are not covered by the designs legislation.

Patents of addition

The Patents Act also provides for the grant of a ‘patent of addition’ for an improvement in, or modification to, an invention claimed in a standard patent that has already been granted.[21] A patent of addition may be obtained only by the owner of the earlier patent, or a person authorised by the owner. The term of a patent of addition expires at the same time as that of the patent on the main invention.

Table A - Features of standard patents and innovation patents

Features

Standard patent

Innovation patent

 

Term

20 years (s 67)

Extension of up to 5 years   available for certain pharmaceutical patents (ss 70–79A)

8 years (s 68)

Number of claims

No   limit

Maximum of 5 claims   (s 40(2)(c))

 

Inventions excluded from   patentability, or excludable at the discretion of the Commissioner of Patents

Human beings and the biological   processes for their generation (s 18(2))

Inventions whose use would be   contrary to law (s 50(1)(a))

Inventions capable of application   as a food or medicine that are a mere admixture of known ingredients   (s 50(1)(b))

Same as for a standard patent, and

Plants and animals and the   biological processes for the generation of plants and animals (s 18(3),   (4))

Level of invention required

‘Inventive step’ over the prior   art (s 7(2)–(3), sch 1)

‘Innovative step’ over the prior   art (s 7(4)–(6), sch 1)

Review by Patent Office prior to   grant

Substantive review for compliance   with the requirements for patentability (ss 44–49)

Formalities check only; no   substantive review unless requested (ss 52, 120(1A))

If you have a matter involving a Patent or invention, then please complete your free Legal Enquiry Form to request immediate legal assistance on your legal matter.

Procedure for grant of a patent

Patent rights do not arise automatically. A patent can be obtained only by following the procedure set out in the Patents Act and Patents Regulations. An understanding of the procedure for obtaining a patent is important to understanding Australian patent law generally. The steps in obtaining an Australian patent are described below.

Filing an application

For a patent to be granted, an eligible person must file an application in the form prescribed by the Patent Office. Eligible persons are the inventor of the invention claimed in the application, or a person to whom the inventor has assigned his or her rights in the invention. A patent application must include a specification of the invention, which contains instructions adequate to enable a skilled person in the relevant area of technology to produce or perform the invention. The specification must also indicate the ‘claims’ that define the invention; that is, the scope of protection that the applicant is seeking.

Australian patent law recognises two types of patent applications—provisional and complete. Provisional and complete applications may be filed to obtain either a standard patent or an innovation patent.

A provisional application need only contain a description of the invention. Often, an inventor files a provisional application before all the details of an invention are known. The applicant then has 12 months to file a complete application.

A complete application must contain a full description of the invention, together with claims, and an abstract summarising the invention being disclosed. A complete application may be based on one or more provisional applications, and only those claims that are ‘fairly based’ on the relevant provisional application will be entitled to the priority date of the provisional application.

The ‘priority date’ of a patent claim is important in determining whether the requirements for patentability of an invention have been met. The requirements of novelty and inventive step are assessed against the prior art as it existed before the priority date. The priority date is typically the date on which a provisional application is filed in Australia, or the date on which an application is filed in another participating jurisdiction.

An applicant may also elect to file a complete application with the Patent Office under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). A PCT application designates all the jurisdictions that are parties to the PCT (including Australia), and secures an international priority date.

PCT applications that have entered the national phase (and will be processed as a complete application) are the main type of applications received by IP Australia. In 2002–03, 16,278 PCT applications selected Australia as one of the jurisdictions in which an applicant wished to obtain patent protection and entered the national phase in Australia. During the same period, 5,694 non-PCT applications for standard patents were filed with IP Australia.

Divisional applications

Each patent application may claim protection only for a single invention. If, following assessment of a patent application, a patent examiner finds that an applicant has claimed more than one invention in the application, the applicant may elect to file a ‘divisional application’—that is, a new application divided from the original or parent application. A divisional application allows an applicant to continue to benefit from the priority date of the original application.

Divisional applications may claim subject matter not contained in the original application so long as all the features of at least one of the claims were disclosed in the original application. There are no statutory limits on the number of divisional applications that may arise from a single complete application.

The Patents Act restricts the subject matter that may be claimed in a divisional application, depending on the time at which it is filed. However, a divisional application, once filed, is subject to the same procedural requirements, including examination, as any other complete patent application.

In its submissions to the Inquiry, IP Australia indicated that divisional applications are currently ‘open to abuse’. In practice, such abuse may occur only in a small number of cases. However, IP Australia suggested that patent applicants are able to make strategic use of divisional applications in order to delay determinations by the Patent Office as to the proper scope of patent claims, or as to whether a patent should be granted. IP Australia commented that the Patents Act allows an applicant to use a divisional application to obtain a de facto monopoly by extending the period within which to respond to an examiner’s adverse report. While this use of divisional applications may be legitimate in some circumstances, IP Australia suggested that it might be used tactically by an applicant in ‘newly developing areas of technology, such as genetics, where there is a question of [the] patentability of the subject matter’. Further, an applicant might avoid a decision in an opposition proceeding by withdrawing the opposed application and refiling it as a divisional application. To address these issues, IP Australia suggested that limitations could be imposed on the circumstances in which divisional applications are available.

However, the majority of submissions and consultations on this issue did not support imposing additional limitations either on the period within which a divisional application may be filed or on the subject matter that may be claimed in a divisional application. Submissions and consultations questioned whether divisional applications are being misused, and commented on the lack of evidence that divisional applications claiming genetic inventions present a special case.

Examination

Once an application has been filed with the Patent Office, a number of additional steps must be followed before a patent may be issued. An applicant must file a request that the Patent Office examine the application. Examination is not automatic and a request for examination must generally be filed within five years of the date of filing a complete specification. However, IP Australia’s standard practice is to direct applicants to file a request for examination, if no request has been received, at approximately 32 months from the priority date, although this period may vary according to IP Australia’s workload. An abbreviated examination may be requested if an Australian patent application is related to a patent that has already been granted by the patent office in a prescribed foreign jurisdiction.

The purpose of examination is to determine whether the invention meets the statutory requirements for patentability set out in the Patents Act. The Patent Office carries out searches of previously published documents—including scientific and patent literature (‘prior art information’)—to determine the prior art material relevant to the claimed invention. In addition, an applicant must disclose to the Patent Office the results of searches carried out by or on behalf of foreign patent offices in respect of the invention claimed in an Australian application, or in a corresponding patent application filed overseas. An examiner with expertise in the relevant area of technology then examines the application, taking into account the information contained in the results of these searches and any other prior art information.

Examination of a patent application typically involves an exchange between the examiner and the applicant about the appropriate scope of the specification and the claims in light of the relevant prior art. This process is known as ‘prosecution’ of a patent application.

Following receipt of a request for examination, an examiner will make an initial assessment of an application for a standard patent and either accept the application as filed or issue a ‘first report’ detailing the procedural and substantive grounds for objecting to the application. An applicant then has a period of 21 months to address the objections raised by the examiner. The examiner may issue further reports for each response by the applicant that does not satisfy the objections raised. An application for a standard patent will generally lapse if it is not in order for acceptance within 21 months after the date of the first report.

Acceptance, publication and sealing

The Commissioner of Patents must notify an applicant of the decision to accept or refuse a patent application, and must publish notice of the decision in the Official Journal of Patents (Official Journal). Formal refusal of an application is rare. More commonly, applications for standard patents lapse for failure to obtain acceptance within the prescribed 21 month period following a first report. The Official Journal also publishes notices of lapsed applications.
Publication of a notice of acceptance in the Official Journal should be distinguished from the publication of a complete specification for a standard patent. This typically occurs 18 months after the earliest priority date for the application, and is also advertised in the Official Journal. An application is confidential prior to publication of the complete specification, and only bibliographic details—such as the applicant’s name and title of the invention—are made available by the Patent Office.

A patent is granted when the Commissioner of Patents causes the patent to be sealed with the seal of the Patent Office. For a standard patent, this will occur within six months of the date of publication in the Official Journal of the notice of acceptance of the application, unless the application is opposed.

If you have a matter involving a Patent or invention, then please complete your free Legal Enquiry Form to request immediate legal assistance on your legal matter.

International legal instruments

Australia is a party to a number of international legal instruments relating to intellectual property. The major international instruments that affect patent laws and practices in Australia are:

  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property 1883 (Paris Convention);
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty 1970 (PCT);
  • Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure 1977 (Budapest Treaty); and
  • Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights 1994 (TRIPS Agreement).

Australian domestic law has given effect to significant provisions of each of these instruments.

See also our Intellectual Property Law & Lawyers Section by clicking here.

 

Links to further resources - Patents & Inventions Law & Lawyers

 

Patents & Inventions Law & Lawyers News

Rights of a patent holder

The Patents Act provides that the grant of a patent confers upon a patent holder the exclusive right to exploit, or to authorise another person to exploit, an invention during the patent term. ‘Exploit’ is defined in the Act to include:

(a) where the invention is a product—make, hire, sell or otherwise dispose of the product, offer to make, sell, hire, or otherwise dispose of it, use or import it, or keep it for the purpose of doing any of those things; or

(b) where the invention is a method or process—use the method or process or do any act mentioned in (a) in respect of a product resulting from such use.

A patent does not, however, grant an absolute right to exploit an invention. A patent holder may have to satisfy other legal requirements in order to exploit the patented product or process. For example, a patented pharmaceutical compound may need to be approved under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth) before it can lawfully be marketed and sold as a treatment for a particular condition. In addition, a patent holder’s ability to exploit the invention may be subject to earlier patents not owned by the patent holder.

A patent holder may assign or license its patent rights to a third party. An assignment of a patent results in the transfer of all of the rights owned by the patent holder to a third party (the assignee).

A licence of a patent does not transfer ownership of any patent rights; rather, it establishes terms upon which a third party (the licensee) may exercise certain patent rights without such use constituting infringement.

A patent holder is not obliged to exploit an invention claimed in a patent at any time during the patent term, nor to license or assign its patent rights.

However, the failure to exploit the invention may encourage others to invoke the Crown use or compulsory licensing provisions in the Patents Act.

Patent rights remain subject to challenge even after the Commissioner of Patents accepts a patent application and after the patent is sealed. Section 20 of the Patents Act expressly states that nothing in the Act or in the PCT guarantees that a patent is valid.

Duration of patent protection

A standard patent generally has a term of 20 years, commencing on the date of the patent; an innovation patent has a term of 8 years. The term of a standard patent relating to ‘pharmaceutical substances’ may be extended in certain circumstances.

Art 33 of the TRIPS Agreement requires member States to provide patent protection for a term of not less than 20 years from the filing date. Article 27(1) requires member States to make patent protection available for all inventions, without discrimination as to the field of technology to which an invention relates. The Patents Act was amended in 1994 to extend the term of protection for a standard patent from 16 years to 20 years in order to bring Australian patent law into conformity with the TRIPS Agreement.

While the TRIPS Agreement provides some flexibility to member States in developing their own patent laws, the minimum term of patent protection is not subject to exceptions or qualifications. The TRIPS Agreement does, however, permit member States to require compliance with reasonable procedures and formalities as a condition of the acquisition or maintenance of intellectual property rights. Such procedures and formalities include the payment of fees for the filing and processing of a patent application, and for maintaining existing patent rights.

In addition, the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement contains a provision that might affect the term of patent. Article 17.9.8 provides that, if there are unreasonable delays in a Party’s issuance of patents, that Party shall provide a means to adjust the term of the patent to compensate for the delay. If, in the future, there is evidence of unreasonable delay in the grant of Australian patents it may be necessary to amend the Patents Act to provide an extension of the patent term.

If you have a matter involving a Patent or invention, then please complete your free Legal Enquiry Form to request immediate legal assistance on your legal matter.

See also our Intellectual Property Law & Lawyers Section by clicking here.

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MPEP Q & A 209: Submission of an Oath or Declaration From a Prior Application

Tue, 27 Oct 2020 14:02:25 +0000

Question: Does a copy of an oath or declaration from a prior application need to be submitted with a continuation or divisional application, or with a continuation-in-part application filed on or after September 16, 2012 even if the oath or declaration identifies the application number of the prior application? Answer: Yes, a copy of an […]

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How to Deal with Being Stressed When It Comes to Taking a Big Exam

Tue, 20 Oct 2020 14:02:48 +0000

Start Preparing for the Exam As Far Ahead of Time As You Can Giving yourself as much time to prepare for the exam as you can help keep your stress level at a minimum. By planning ahead, you’ll have time to find a pre-planned study schedule or set your study schedule, do plenty of practice […]

The post How to Deal with Being Stressed When It Comes to Taking a Big Exam appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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MPEP Q & A 208: Filing a Petition to Make an Application Special Without a Fee

Tue, 13 Oct 2020 14:02:08 +0000

Question: Is it possible to file a petition to make an application special without a fee? Answer: A petition to make an application special may be filed without a fee if the basis for the petition is: (1) The applicant’s age or health; or (2) That the invention will materially: (i) Enhance the quality of […]

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How to Take Better Notes when Studying for the Patent Bar Exam

Tue, 06 Oct 2020 14:02:23 +0000

Taking notes is essential for achieving academic success, yet few people know how to do it well. Note-taking is an excellent way for any student to improve their grades. Anyone who plans on taking the patent bar exam would be well-served to master the art of taking notes. Create a Detailed Outline Note-takers have long […]

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MPEP Q & A 207: When Can a Practitioner Enter a Business Transaction with a Client

Tue, 29 Sep 2020 14:02:50 +0000

Question: When can a practitioner enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire an ownership, possessory, security or other pecuniary interest adverse to a client? Answer: A practitioner shall not enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire an ownership, possessory, security or other pecuniary interest adverse to a […]

The post MPEP Q & A 207: When Can a Practitioner Enter a Business Transaction with a Client appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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Should Your Resume Include an Objective Statement?

Tue, 22 Sep 2020 14:02:08 +0000

The basic resume formula hasn’t changed much over the years: it includes your work experience, your education, and your most relevant skills and accomplishments. But the objective statement, which has sat at the top of resumes for decades, might have finally gone out of style. Objective Statements Are Out Objective statements waste recruiters’ time. Most […]

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MPEP Q & A 206: Requirements for an Applicant to Rescind Nonpublication Requests

Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:02:34 +0000

Question: What are the requirements for an applicant to rescind a nonpublication request? Answer: The applicant may rescind a nonpublication request at any time. A request to rescind a nonpublication request must: Identify the application to which it is directed; State in a conspicuous manner that the request that the application is not to be […]

The post MPEP Q & A 206: Requirements for an Applicant to Rescind Nonpublication Requests appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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Destigmatizing Failing a Big Exam – Don’t Let Failure Cloud Your Judgment

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 14:02:41 +0000

In the United States alone, anxiety is considered the single most common mental illness. Yet while only 18 percent of the adult population suffers from anxiety, it’s estimated that a staggering 60 percent of college students deal with debilitating fear in their day to day life. Whether it’s homesickness or the pressures of academia, this […]

The post Destigmatizing Failing a Big Exam – Don’t Let Failure Cloud Your Judgment appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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MPEP Q & A 205: Meaning of Claims Limited to Species

Tue, 01 Sep 2020 14:02:16 +0000

Question: What is the meaning of claims limited to species? Answer: Claims are definitions or descriptions of inventions. Claims themselves are never species. The scope of a claim may be limited to a single disclosed embodiment (i.e., a single species, and thus be designated a specific species claim). Alternatively, a claim may encompass two or more of […]

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Cool Invention: 3D Printer Patents

Tue, 25 Aug 2020 14:02:24 +0000

As 3D printing gains popularity, a debate rages about whether patent protection is beneficial for the technology. This fact matters for the industry because several patents are expiring, and companies are filing for new ones at a rapid pace. 3D Patents Are in Their Fourth Decade 3D printing technology and patents are not new. The […]

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MPEP Q & A 204: Definition of a National Application

Tue, 18 Aug 2020 14:02:57 +0000

Question: What is the definition of a national application as described in chapter 200 of the MPEP? Answer: A national application as used in this chapter means either a U.S. application for patent which was filed in the Office under 35 U.S.C. 111, an international application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty in which the […]

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Note-Taking Strategy to Help You Remember

Tue, 11 Aug 2020 14:02:19 +0000

When preparing for your move to patent law, it is crucial that you get the most out of your study time. But most students simply read the textbook and try to remember what they have read, which is not a very effective strategy. By most estimates, the average person forgets about 90% of what they […]

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MPEP Q & A 203: Rejections of Dependent Claims Not Specifying a Further Limitation

Tue, 04 Aug 2020 14:02:40 +0000

Question: Should a dependent claim that does not specify a further limitation of the subject matter claimed be rejected under 35 USC 112(d)? Answer: Yes, a dependent claim that does not specify a further limitation of the subject matter claimed should be rejected under 35 U.S.C. 112(d). When two claims in an application comply with […]

The post MPEP Q & A 203: Rejections of Dependent Claims Not Specifying a Further Limitation appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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Selling Yourself During A Job Interview

Tue, 28 Jul 2020 14:02:51 +0000

Going in for a job interview is always nerve-racking. While preparing and considering all the details, it can be easy to lose sight of what a job interview is: a conversation with a potential employer where you must sell yourself as the right candidate for the job. The following tips are all good advice for […]

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MPEP Q & A 202: Components of Examiner’s Answer in an Appeal

Tue, 21 Jul 2020 14:02:19 +0000

Question: What should an examiner’s answer in an appeal include? Answer: An examiner’s answer should include, under appropriate headings, in the order indicated, the following items: (1) Grounds of Rejection to be Reviewed on Appeal. A statement that every ground of rejection set forth in the Office action from which the appeal is taken (as […]

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Top Benefits of Taking Patent Bar Prep Through an Online Course

Tue, 14 Jul 2020 14:02:42 +0000

Becoming a lawyer is a goal that is difficult to achieve. Besides the endless hours of study in college and law school, there’s the dreaded bar exam that sends most would-be lawyers into a state of fear and loathing. If you’re seeking a career as a patent lawyer, then you still have to master the […]

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MPEP Q & A 201: Drawings Essential Elements of Design Patent Applications

Tue, 07 Jul 2020 14:02:49 +0000

Question: Is a drawing an essential element of a design patent application? Answer: Every design patent application must include either a drawing or a photograph of the claimed design. As the drawing or photograph constitutes the entire visual disclosure of the claim, it is of utmost importance that the drawing or photograph be clear and […]

The post MPEP Q & A 201: Drawings Essential Elements of Design Patent Applications appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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6 Ways to Keep From Coming Across as Arrogant During a Job Interview

Tue, 30 Jun 2020 14:02:31 +0000

According to the Oxford dictionary, one definition of confidence is “a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s abilities or qualities.” Confidence is one of the most essential qualities to have and show during a job interview. However, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Arrogance is defined as “having or […]

The post 6 Ways to Keep From Coming Across as Arrogant During a Job Interview appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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MPEP Q & A 200: When Drawings Are Not Considered Necessary Under 35 USC 113

Tue, 23 Jun 2020 14:02:33 +0000

Question: When is a drawing usually not considered necessary for the understanding of an invention under 35 USC 113 (first sentence)? Answer: It has been USPTO practice to treat an application that contains at least one process or method claim as an application for which a drawing is not necessary for an understanding of the […]

The post MPEP Q & A 200: When Drawings Are Not Considered Necessary Under 35 USC 113 appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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5 Tips for Improving Your Grades

Tue, 16 Jun 2020 14:02:42 +0000

Struggling in school is nothing to feel bad about. It happens to millions of students. But with concerted effort, it’s possible to improve grades significantly. It All Starts With a Good Attitude Approaching studies with a positive mindset helps you overcome challenges. A poor attitude has the opposite effect, causing demotivation and results in trouble […]

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MPEP Q & A 199: The Difference Between Applicant Information, Correspondence Information, and Application Information

Tue, 09 Jun 2020 14:02:14 +0000

Question: What is the difference between applicant information, correspondence information, and application information? Answer: Applicant information includes the name, residence, mailing address, and citizenship of each applicant ( when dealing with pre-AIA 37 CFR 1.41(b)). The name of each applicant must include the family name, and at least one given name without abbreviation together with […]

The post MPEP Q & A 199: The Difference Between Applicant Information, Correspondence Information, and Application Information appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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4 Tips for Studying for the Patent Bar (Or Any Other Big Exam) Over Summer Vacation

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 14:02:39 +0000

While summer vacation is seen as a time to relax and unwind, the work never stops for others. It is never too early to adequately prepare for a big exam like the patent bar exam, and summer vacation presents an opportunity for you to take advantage of the time you have and commit to studying. […]

The post 4 Tips for Studying for the Patent Bar (Or Any Other Big Exam) Over Summer Vacation appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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MPEP Q & A 198: Items Necessary to Accord the International Filing Date the Date of Receipt of the International Application

Tue, 26 May 2020 14:02:56 +0000

Question: What does the Office need at the time of receipt in order to accord the international filing date the date of receipt of the international application? Answer: The receiving Office shall accord as the international filing date the date of receipt of the international application, provided that the Office has found that, at the […]

The post MPEP Q & A 198: Items Necessary to Accord the International Filing Date the Date of Receipt of the International Application appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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10 Things You May Not Have Realized were Invented Between 2015 – 2020

Tue, 19 May 2020 14:02:05 +0000

The last half-decade has been a remarkable time for innovation and inventions. Consider the following breakthroughs that hit the scene from 2015 to 2020. These notable inventions are helping people improve their lives. The Levitating Lightbulb If you want a lightbulb that levitates, you can now get one thanks to Gleagle. The company has released […]

The post 10 Things You May Not Have Realized were Invented Between 2015 – 2020 appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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MPEP Q & A 197: What Must a Petition for an Unintentionally Delayed Claim be Filed With?

Tue, 12 May 2020 14:02:38 +0000

Question: What must a petition for an unintentionally delayed claim be filed with? Answer: A petition for an unintentionally delayed claim must be accompanied by: (A) the reference required by 35 U.S.C. 120 and 37 CFR 1.78 to the prior application (unless previously submitted); (B) a petition fee under 37 CFR 1.17(m); and (C) a […]

The post MPEP Q & A 197: What Must a Petition for an Unintentionally Delayed Claim be Filed With? appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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Customizing Your Cover Letter Takes Time But Increases Your Chances of Standing Out

Tue, 05 May 2020 14:02:39 +0000

Tailoring your cover letter for each job you apply to adds a bit of time to the application process, but yields excellent results. Customization means personalizing the message to the recipient, which makes you stand out from your competitors. Appeal to the Person Responsible for Hiring You should customize your cover letter with the hiring […]

The post Customizing Your Cover Letter Takes Time But Increases Your Chances of Standing Out appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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MPEP Q & A 196: Submission of Petition to Withdraw Application from Issue Under 37 CFR 1.313(c)

Tue, 28 Apr 2020 14:02:18 +0000

Question: How can petitions to withdraw an application from issue under 37 CFR 1.313(c) be sent to the USPTO? Answer: Petitions to withdraw an application from issue under 37 CFR 1.313(c) may be: (A) mailed to “Mail Stop Petition, Commissioner for Patents”; (B) transmitted by facsimile; (C) hand-carried to the Office of Petitions; or (D) […]

The post MPEP Q & A 196: Submission of Petition to Withdraw Application from Issue Under 37 CFR 1.313(c) appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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10 Things You May Not Have Realized Were Invented Between 2010 – 2015

Tue, 21 Apr 2020 14:02:09 +0000

The years 2010 through 2015 were productive in terms of new inventions. Many of the breakthroughs are still around today, creating dramatic changes in the world. Consider the ten following inventions. Amazon Kindle Fire Amazon entered the tablet market with its Kindle Fire in 2013. The device serves up optimized content from Amazon’s vast library, […]

The post 10 Things You May Not Have Realized Were Invented Between 2010 – 2015 appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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MPEP Q & A 195: Necessary Items for a Petition for Retroactive License

Tue, 14 Apr 2020 14:02:57 +0000

Question: What should a petition for retroactive license include? Answer: A petition for retroactive license shall include: (1) A listing of each of the foreign countries in which the unlicensed patent application material was filed, (2) The dates on which the material was filed in each country, (3) A verified statement (oath or declaration) containing: […]

The post MPEP Q & A 195: Necessary Items for a Petition for Retroactive License appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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How to Create a Good Outline from Your Notes

Tue, 07 Apr 2020 14:02:22 +0000

There’s so much information covered on the patent bar. So how do you start organizing all of it? One of the best ways to use any notes you’ve taken is to create an outline. An outline helps you condense your notes into tiny pieces of information to help you learn the material faster. But without […]

The post How to Create a Good Outline from Your Notes appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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MPEP Q & A 194: Stop the Publication of an Application

Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:02:26 +0000

Question: Can a petition under 37 CFR 1.138(c) stop publication of an application? Answer: A petition under 37 CFR 1.138(c) will not stop publication of the application unless it is recognized and acted on by the Pre-Grant Publication Division in sufficient time to avoid publication. The petition will be granted when it is recognized in […]

The post MPEP Q & A 194: Stop the Publication of an Application appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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10 Things You May Not Have Realized Were Invented in the 2000s

Tue, 24 Mar 2020 14:02:39 +0000

The 2000s were a time of rapid advancement in the world of technology. The decade was particularly fruitful for gadgets, which spread far and wide during the era. Consider these ten leading innovations. The USB Flash Drive These portable drives made adding enormous amounts of storage as simple as snapping one into a USB port. […]

The post 10 Things You May Not Have Realized Were Invented in the 2000s appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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MPEP Q & A 193: Petition to Make Special and Energy Resources

Tue, 17 Mar 2020 14:02:27 +0000

Question: Does the petition to make special apply to patent applications for inventions dealing with energy resources? Answer: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will, on petition, accord “special” status to all patent applications for inventions which materially contribute to: (A) the discovery or development of energy resources, or (B) the more efficient utilization and […]

The post MPEP Q & A 193: Petition to Make Special and Energy Resources appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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These news come from Patent Education Series.

Hatch-Waxman and BPCIA Cases and Trends to Watch in 2021

Mon, 25 Jan 2021 12:15:34 +0000

As we turn the page to 2021, we expect at least two major cases to be resolved that could have long-lasting effects on where and how Hatch-Waxman and Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) cases are litigated. Specifically, the future of skinny labels is in doubt, and available venues for Plaintiffs could be significantly narrowed. The number of new drugs eligible for generic competition will also rebound in 2021, but only time will tell if the global pandemic affects the...

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How Patents Enable Mavericks and Challenge Incumbents

Sun, 24 Jan 2021 17:15:21 +0000

Advocates for “patent reform” have long argued that reducing patent protection will open up markets and accelerate innovation by lowering entry barriers and expanding access to existing technologies. Yet, over 15 years of patent reform since the landmark 2006 decision in eBay, Inc. v. MercExchange LLC, followed by enactment of the America Invents Act in 2011, we have witnessed the rise of a technology ecosystem led by a handful of dominant platforms. In my recently published book, Innovators,...

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ipAwarenessAssessment: Inventors and Business Owners Should Start Their IP Journey with this USPTO-NIST Tool

Sat, 23 Jan 2021 17:15:42 +0000

The ipAwarenessAssessment (the Tool) is engineered for both business owners and inventors so that they can comprehensively value their intellectual property (IP) and manage their IP portfolios accordingly. Developed as a joint effort by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology/Manufacturing Extending Partnership (NIST/MEP), the Tool allows a participant to asses their overall IP awareness, usage, and maintenance. The Tool...

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Other Barks & Bites for Friday, January 22: Iancu and Peter Step Down from USPTO, CJEU Asked Whether Preliminary Injunction Standard Burdens Patent Owners, SCOTUS Denial Leaves Invalidation of Idenix Genus Patent Claims Untouched

Fri, 22 Jan 2021 19:15:11 +0000

This week in Other Barks & Bites: an industry group representing French news publishers and Google reached a first-of-its-kind agreement on a copyright licensing framework for republishing news snippets online; USPTO Director Andrei Iancu and Deputy Director Lisa Peter announce their intention to step away from the agency during the Biden Administration; President Biden designates Jessica Rosenworcel to serve as acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission; BlackBerry’s...

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New Year, New Models: How the Pandemic May Forever Change Practice at the USPTO

Fri, 22 Jan 2021 12:15:17 +0000

Last year brought unprecedented changes as to how the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) conducts business. Prior to the pandemic, the USPTO was already a trailblazer with employees teleworking. As of 2018, 8,824 patent positions, roughly 94% of the total positions eligible for telework, already worked from home. On March 15, 2020, however, the USPTO closed all of its offices to the public, and subsequently transitioned its entire workforce of roughly 13,000 people (which...

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Unified Consulting is Seeking a Business Development Manager

Fri, 22 Jan 2021 10:15:29 +0000

Unified Consulting is growing its intellectual property consulting business and is seeking a part-time sales lead with the potential to become full-time. We provide cutting edge advice and expert services to Fortune 1000 companies and their law firms. In addition, we sell access to our proprietary AI analytic tools that enable in-house legal teams to quickly understand and act on complex intellectual property matters. This position is a remote / work from home position.

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US Inventor Backs SCOTUS Petition to Clarify Claim Construction Principles

Thu, 21 Jan 2021 21:15:41 +0000

Inventor advocacy group US Inventor has filed an amicus brief in support of a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court asking the justices to clarify “[w]hether the Federal Circuit’s “heavy presumption” line of cases or its “holistic” line should govern claim construction. The petition was filed in December by Akeva, LLC, owner of a portfolio of athletic footwear patents, and is an appeal from a July 2020 nonprecedential Federal Circuit decision, Akeva, LLC v. Nike, Inc. In that case, the Federal...

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Green, Yellow, Or Red: What Color Is Your Patent Examiner and Why Should You Care?

Thu, 21 Jan 2021 17:15:05 +0000

Examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can be categorized into three different “types,” namely, green, yellow and red Examiners. Knowing the type of Examiner assigned to a particular U.S. patent application can help in strategizing on prosecution tactics, crafting responses, and anticipating costs and timing needed to obtain a U.S. patent. For each year from 2009 to 2019, data was gathered for Examiners in each of eight non-design Tech Centers at the USPTO from the LexisNexis...

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Copyright Office Updates to Third Edition of Compendium of Practices Focus on Registration Refusals, Intervening SCOTUS Case Law

Thu, 21 Jan 2021 12:15:51 +0000

On January 14, the U.S. Copyright Office published in the Federal Register an update to the agency’s Third Edition of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices. The updates to the draft revision, which was first released in May 2019, include several changes based on public comments asking for clarification on several points of legal interpretation as well as major copyright decisions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court since the Third Edition’s last revision in 2017. Since issuing the...

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Patent Filings Roundup: Fortress Gets Into the 5G SEP Game; Judge Gilstrap Stays Trial for Reexam After Board Denied Under Fintiv; Fintiv Case Transferred

Thu, 21 Jan 2021 11:15:53 +0000

All eyes this week were on the USPTO Director’s chair and the inauguration, and yesterday the USPTO posted a farewell blog and speech, confirming that Andrei Iancu will (and probably already has) resigned pursuant to the changeover in administrations. But patent filings wait for no one, and so we turn to the just 20 Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) petitions that were filed last week, with the district court on usual pace with 68 complaints. Notably, there were another 10 discretionary...

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Dennemeyer is Seeking a Head of Sales for the Americas Region

Thu, 21 Jan 2021 10:15:06 +0000

Dennemeyer & Associates is currently seeking a Head of Sales for the Americas region to serve as the leader for their Business Development Team. The position is remotely located but based in Dennemeyer’s Chicago office and reports to the Chicago-based Managing Director, Americas.

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Iancu Says Goodbye, Urges Commitment to ‘American Innovation Renaissance’

Wed, 20 Jan 2021 20:15:13 +0000

One day before Joe Biden was to be inaugurated as the 46th U.S. President, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Andrei Iancu confirmed he would be leaving his position as USPTO Director, reminiscing on his tenure with the Office in his latest Director’s Forum blog post and in remarks made at a United States Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center event yesterday. Iancu recalled his successful efforts to clarify examination guidelines on patent eligibility and to balance...

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Western District of Texas Gets an Upgrade: A Look at the New Waco Courtroom

Wed, 20 Jan 2021 12:15:47 +0000

Anyone who is familiar with the fortunes of Waco, Texas over the past few years will recognize the remarkable transformation of the city in most every respect. This is often attributed to Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV's "Fixer-Upper" fame. The legal world has its own version of a "fixer-upper" success story in Waco, and it has nothing to do with any renovation television series. With the arrival of Judge Alan D. Albright a little over two years ago, the Waco division of the Western District of...

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Harrity & Harrity is Seeking a Remote Patent Drafting Attorney

Wed, 20 Jan 2021 10:15:34 +0000

Harrity & Harrity, LLP is looking for remote or local patent professionals to prepare patent applications for leading global technology companies, including numerous Patent 300® companies. This position is a full-time, permanent, remote/work from home position.

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Biden’s Opportunity to Protect American Innovation

Tue, 19 Jan 2021 21:15:02 +0000

When Joe Biden became President-elect Biden, he asked us to imagine a new, more hopeful version of America. He urged us to work toward leaving a “grim era” behind – a COVID-19 outbreak, economic devastation, social unrest, and a contentious election. It won’t be easy to recover, and it will require that Americans do something recently seen as undoable – unite, cooperate, and innovate. President-elect Biden immediately took a step in the right direction, though, pledging to be a president who...

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Do you need legal advice regarding any aspect of
family law? are you thinking about having a divorce?  If so then you need legal advice from a qualified family lawyer.  Family laws can be quite complex and difficult to navigate which is why it is important to obtain sound legal advice in order to protect your position. Our free legal enquiry service covers all aspects of family law. So if you need a family lawyer to give you the best legal advice regarding your legal situation, then don't delay enquire today!

Have you been in a car accident?

If you have been involved in a car accident, then the chances are that you could be entitled to claim compensation. It is important you seek legal advice immediately following are car accident as there are stringent time limits that apply to the making of CTP claims.

If you have suffered a personal injury in a car accident, either as a:  driver, passenger, cyclist, motor cycle rider or pedestrian, you could be entitled to claim compensation, whether you have minor soft tissue injuries, whiplash, broken limbs, head injuries or far more serious injuries. It is important you obtain sound legal advice without any delay. Enquire today to find out what compensation you could be entitled to.

To find out what compensation entitlements you could receive for your injuries please complete our no obligation, FREE Online legal Enquiry Form

Car accidents happen every day. If you have been affected from a road related incident, the chances are you could be entitled to claim a compensation payout. You should seek legal advice immediately. even if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident you could still be eligible to claim compensation. Please complete your free legal enquiry form to find out more.

There are time limits that apply to CTP claims and it is important to seek legal advice immediately to ensure that your rights entitlements are protected.

Have you been involved in an accident with uninsured vehicle?

If so then you could be Eligible to claim compensation against the nominal defendant.

It is important to seek legal advice immediately. - please complete your free legal enquiry form to be put in contact with a lawyer who can help you with your claim.

If you have been injured in a Road related accident either as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist or cyclist, you could be entitled to claim a significant compensation payout. You should seek legal advice immediately to find out what you could be entitled to claim.

Legal advice for family law matters

Do you need legal advice regarding family law? If so, please complete your free legal enquiry form. Going through a separation and divorce can be a difficult time for those involved and that's why the process needs to run as smoothly as possible. It is therefore important that proper legal advice be obtained from a qualified legal practitioner practising family law who can help you and give you the legal advice you need to guide you through your difficult situation and ensure that the matter is dealt with as fairly as possible. Please complete your free legal enquiry form to find out more.

Car Accident Compensation

Have you been in a car accident? where you a driver, rider, passenger or pedestrian? If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, then you could be entitled to claim a significant compensation payout. To find out more please complete your free legal enquiry form.

 

Cyclist Accidents and Injuries

Quite often cyclists are not given proper care and attention by other road users. This can result in accidents occurring between car, trucks and other motor vehicles with bicycle riders. Motorists often fail to give way to cyclists therby causing an accident with the cyclist.

If you are a cyclist who has been involved in an accident, then the chances are you could be entitled to receive a significant compensation payout from the CTP insurer of the driver that caused the accident.

To find out more, please complete your free legal enquiry form.

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