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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Clifford Thomas Brazen, Patent Attorney at Erise IP

Tue, 15 Dec 2020 15:03:39 +0000

Clifford is a Patent Attorney who has been working in the IP profession since September 2014. From September 2014 until May 2016 Clifford was working on the patent prosecution side of patent law. In May 2016, Clifford moved to his current position at Erise IP, focusing on IP litigation. The following is his Q & A […]

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MPEP Q & A 212: What is the Number of Days Before an Oral Argument for Exchange of Exhibits?

Tue, 08 Dec 2020 15:03:38 +0000

Question: According to the PDF titled ‘Amendments to the Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’, what is the number of days before an oral argument for the exchange of exhibits? Answer: The number of days before an oral argument for the exchange of exhibits is at least 7 days. […]

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Ted D. Karr, IP Attorney & Partner at Berkeley Law & Technology Group LLP

Tue, 01 Dec 2020 15:03:15 +0000

Ted is an IP attorney and partner at Berkeley Law & Technology Group LLP, headquartered in Portland, Oregon. He has worked in the field of intellectual property law since 2001. The following is his Q & A interview. How did you get into a career in IP law? My first job out of law school […]

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MPEP Q & A 211: When May an Abandoned Application be Used as Prior Art?

Tue, 24 Nov 2020 15:03:39 +0000

Question: When may an abandoned application be used as prior art? Answer: An abandoned patent application may become evidence of prior art only when it has been appropriately disclosed, as, for example, when the abandoned patent [application] is reference[d] in the disclosure of another patent, in a publication, or by voluntary disclosure under former Defensive […]

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Covid-19 and the Patent Bar

Tue, 17 Nov 2020 15:03:25 +0000

Covid-19 has caused enormous stress and trauma to our society and unfortunately, the strain doesn’t seem like it will end in 2020. I very much hoping that things will start to look up in 2021, but depending on when in 2021, it could still be a while. So I’d like to talk briefly about the […]

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MPEP Q & A 210: What is the Executive Summary of the Supplement ‘Amendments to the Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board?

Tue, 10 Nov 2020 15:03:30 +0000

Question: What is the executive summary of the PDF titled ‘Amendments to the Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’? Answer: This final rule amends the existing consolidated set of rules relating to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) trial practice for IPR, PGR, CBM, and […]

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Patent Bar Updates on Source Materials Starting October 13, 2020

Tue, 03 Nov 2020 15:03:33 +0000

  The USPTO changed the source materials of the Patent Bar exam starting October 13th, 2020. Our course includes the newest updates. Fortunately, the Patent Bar exam is still tested over the same version of the MPEP which is the Ninth Edition, Revision 08.2017 (January 2018 publication). This has been the tested version of the […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

The post MPEP Q & A 204: Definition of a National Application appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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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 […]

The post MPEP Q & A 202: Components of Examiner’s Answer in an Appeal appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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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 […]

The post Top Benefits of Taking Patent Bar Prep Through an Online Course appeared first on Patent Education Series.

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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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These news come from Patent Education Series.

Solutions for Promoting Patent Practitioner Diversity at the USPTO in the Battle Against Systemic Racism

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 16:30:56 +0000

A critical battle against systemic racism currently engages the United States. Patent practitioners across the country—from the University of Minnesota Law School (a mere 2.5 miles from the location of the killing of George Floyd) to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia (another 1,000 miles away)—must cast a critical eye towards our profession to identify systemic barriers in the patent field.

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USPTO Launches COVID-19 Fast-Track Appeals Pilot as Companion to Prioritized Examination Pilot

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 11:15:45 +0000

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced yesterday that it will launch a COVID-19 fast-track appeals pilot program beginning today. The pilot is a companion to the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program launched last year. The latest pilot will allow an appellant to have certain COVID-19-related ex parte appeals before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) accorded fast-track status. The appeal must be related to an application that claims a product or process...

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NYIPLA Amicus Brief in Ericsson v. Samsung Advocates the Adjudication of U.S. Patent Rights by U.S. Courts

Wed, 14 Apr 2021 20:15:03 +0000

On April 9, the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA) filed an amicus brief in Ericsson Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., No. 2021-1565, urging a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to balance U.S. interests in adjudicating U.S. patent rights against the rule of comity, with respect to an order by a Chinese court restricting the litigation of certain U.S. patents in U.S. courts. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Judge Paul Michel and former U.S. Patent...

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NetSoc Appeals to SCOTUS, Claiming Improper Analysis of Social Network Patent Nixed Under 101

Wed, 14 Apr 2021 16:15:09 +0000

On April 5, NetSoc LLC filed a petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) after losing its appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), which found NetSoc’s patent was directed to patent-ineligible subject matter. NetSoc claims that U.S. Patent No. 9,978,107 (‘107 Patent), titled “Method and System for Establishing and Using a Social Network to Facilitate People in Life Issues,” was legally issued in 2003 contrary to the claim of...

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Former Employee Does Not Have to Assign Inventions to Covidien, First Circuit Says

Wed, 14 Apr 2021 11:15:51 +0000

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed a district court ruling denying a request for declaratory judgment by Covidien LP and Covidien Holding Inc. (collectively, “Covidien”) against appellee Brady Esch, a former employee who assigned a medical device patent to a company he founded. After a nine-day trial, the jury awarded Covidien nearly $800,000, finding Esch incurred in a breach of confidential information. Covidien subsequently moved for a declaratory judgment...

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The View from the Court’s 2 Live Crew: Examining the Thomas/Alito Dissent in Google v. Oracle

Tue, 13 Apr 2021 20:15:10 +0000

Most commentators agree that Google v. Oracle is the most important copyright decision of the last 25 years (since Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music). But what if the Court got it wrong?  The Court has not always done well with issues of technology (the Sony v. Universal “Betamax” case being an exception), and the majority decision in Google v. Oracle appears to be more of the same. For many reasons, the powerful dissent from Justices Thomas and Alito may be the better opinion.

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Drafting Lessons from a 101 Loss in the Eastern District of Texas

Tue, 13 Apr 2021 16:15:14 +0000

On March 30, Judge Sean D. Jordan of the United States Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, issued a rather atypical Order, at least for the Eastern District of Texas. A defendant prevailed on a motion to dismiss. See Repifi Vendor Logistics, Inc. v. IntelliCentrics, Inc., Civil No. 4:20-CV-448-SDJ. Those familiar with patent litigation know that, over many years, the Eastern District of Texas has been a notoriously favorable venue for patent owners to pursue patent...

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Satan Shoes: Trademark Blasphemy or Free Speech?

Tue, 13 Apr 2021 11:15:45 +0000

Though the parties have quickly settled their case, the question remains open: was Lil Nas X’s “Satan Shoe” an exercise of free speech or a trademark violation? What we do know is that sneaker giant Nike’s complaint filed in the Eastern District of New York on March 29, 2021 alleged a dispute of biblical proportions against Brooklyn art collective MSCHF Product Studio, Inc. Nike targeted its own Air Max 97 shoe, which it claimed MSCHF and its collaborator Lil Nas X (who was not named in the...

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Tillis, Michel and Iancu Back Ericsson in Heated International FRAND Dispute with Samsung

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 20:15:56 +0000

In the latest phase of an international dispute between Samsung Electronics and Ericsson, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Judge Paul Michel and former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Andrei Iancu have filed an amicus brief at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) supporting Ericsson and urging the CAFC to affirm the district court’s order granting an anti-interference injunction. That order enjoined Samsung from taking any action to interfere with Ericsson’s...

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This Week in Washington IP: Innovation at the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy, GIPC Event on Innovation Ecosystem, and Working Toward a Carbon-Free Shipping Industry

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 16:15:08 +0000

This week in Washington IP events, subcommittees in both the Senate and the House of Representatives will examine President Biden’s $10.17 billion appropriations request for the National Science Foundation. The Senate Defense Subcommittee will explore R&D at the U.S. Department of Defense while the Senate Energy Committee will take a look at innovation stemming from the activities of the U.S. Department of Energy. In the House, the Consumer Protection Subcommittee assesses issues related...

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Industry Comments on Proposed Changes to Bayh-Dole Regulations Zero in on March-In Language

Mon, 12 Apr 2021 11:15:58 +0000

On January 12, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published a request for comments on proposed changes to regulations that support the University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act of 1980, which is more commonly known as the Bayh-Dole Act. At the time, NIST explained that this important update to Bayh-Dole represents a key element of the Return on Investment Initiative, which seeks to maximize American innovation arising from the federal government’s more than $150...

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The mRNA IP and Competitive Landscape Through One Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic – Part I

Sun, 11 Apr 2021 16:15:14 +0000

Shortly after we posted about Moderna, Inc.’s October 2020 pledge not to enforce its COVID-19-related patents during the pandemic, the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency regulatory approval for two COVID-19 vaccines produced by Moderna and BioNTech (with Pfizer), making these groups the first to ever enter the commercial market with mRNA-based therapies. This little-known and never-before-approved mRNA technology has since been widely administered and...

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The Upshot of Google v. Oracle: An Absurd Ruling Will Lead to Absurd Results

Fri, 09 Apr 2021 19:15:50 +0000

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, or so states Newton’s third law of motion. It is safe to say that Newton never met an intellectual property lawyer, and he never had to deal with the whims and fancy of an arbitrary and capricious Supreme Court. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Google v. Oracle, in which the Court ruled that Google’s intentional copying of 11,500 lines of computer code from Oracle was a fair use despite the...

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Other Barks & Bites for Friday, April 9: Supreme Court Issues Major Win for Google, Brazil Suspends Patent Term Extensions During COVID-19 and CAFC Finds No Standing for Apple to Appeal PTAB Decisions for Qualcomm

Fri, 09 Apr 2021 17:15:08 +0000

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the Federal Circuit finds that Apple’s patent licensing agreement with Qualcomm eliminated standing to appeal IPRs from the PTAB; the Second Circuit hears oral arguments in copyright lawyer Richard Liebowitz’s sanctions appeal as well as an appeal of antitrust claims against Takeda over improper extensions of FDA exclusivity for Actos; the Supreme Court rules that Google’s copying of Oracle’s Java API was fair use; Brazil’s highest court enters a...

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GIPC Event Underscores Scale of Dangerous COVID-Related Fakes During Pandemic

Fri, 09 Apr 2021 11:15:24 +0000

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) held a webinar on Tuesday, April 6, as part of its Innovation Ecosystem series, titled “Worth Protecting,” which included Steve Francis, Assistant Director, HSI Global Trade Investigations Division Director, National IPR Coordination Center, as one of the panelists. Francis explained that public-private partnerships have been key to combating the spike in illicit activity that has occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic....

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Conveyancing legal advice

Are you looking at buying or selling real estate? If so, then you need legal advice from a
Conveyancing Solicitor. A conveyancing solicitor will help guide you through the process of buying and selling real estate. If you are a purchaser or vendor then it's important you get legal advice regarding your contractual rights and obligations.  To seek legal advice pertaining to conveyancing, please complete free legal enquiry form or click on the following link for further information regarding conveyancing:

Family Law Legal Advice - Divorce Legal Advice
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.

Looking for a specialist lawyer or legal information?

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free legal enquiry form or

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