Consumer Products and Design Patents

In the fast-moving consumer goods sector, products frequently have a short lifecycle and choosing those that need patent and design protection can be a challenge. This rapid turnover in designs means that design-driven consumer product companies and designers may need to consider, and reconsider, design and patent protection for their products on a year by year or season by season basis.

For a consumer product with multiple innovative aspects it is often difficult, prior to market release, to know which aspects of a product are going to capture consumers’ attention and therefore be copied by competitors. To some extent, people in this field need to attempt to “pick a winner” prior to seeking patent and design protection, which is often difficult.

We can support you to develop an effective and adaptable patent portfolio that lets you cost effectively protect your products and respond swiftly to competitor infringements.

Companies in this sector can also find themselves targeted by a competitor through the use of Innovation patents in Australia. The ability for competitors to write targeted Innovation patents after product release leaves an essentially unquantifiable risk. The outcome of this risk is potentially the need to withdraw a new product from sale immediately after launch.

Freehills Patent Attorneys can assist you to reverse this risk by developing targeted filing strategies. We can also assist you in developing competitive intelligence about the patenting strategies of your competitors to avoid being blindsided by your competitor’s patents. Part of this approach involves watching the filing activities of key competitors or in key fields.

At Freehills Patent Attorneys, we support local designers and manufacturers of a range of consumer goods, including appliances, clothing, footwear and sporting accessories. We also act for many multinational manufacturers, from mobile phones to whitegoods.

Freehills Patent Attorneys technical range of expertise includes

  • Consumer electronics
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Clothing, footwear and fashion accessories
  • Sporting equipment and accessories
  • Whitegoods
  • Toys
  • Shop fittings
  • Furniture
  • Packaging
  • Tapware and accessories
  • Architectural fittings and lighting

Freehills Patent Attorneys expertise in action

Our client, who is a worldwide trend setter in their market segment, had a problem.  Their new product range was unlike anything anyone had seen before, and was sure to attract attention when it was launched at a trade show. The nature of the product was such that it had hundreds of potential variations that might be copied and protection of all variations was not viable – what is worse, the client could not predict which of the variants would be a hit.

We assisted this client by developing an innovative filing strategy that leveraged the international filing process to secure early protection but also maintain flexibility until they could test market perceptions of the new range.

We even assisted them to attract grant funding for part of their product development.

Meet our Consumer Products and Design experts