Protect and use new inventions and innovations

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to protect and use new inventions and innovations as the exclusive intellectual property of an organisation or individual. It covers identifying the need for protection of new inventions or innovations, working with specialists to file a successful patent application, monitoring and protecting intellectual property rights, and using the patent for business growth.No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


This unit applies to individuals who are actively involved in work concerning the development or ownership of inventive and innovative products. They may work as individual inventors or innovators in a range of industries or organisational contexts, as part of a research and development team within an organisation or be commissioning or employing others to develop new inventions or innovations.

This unit will give individuals an understanding of patent law and how patents are assigned, to develop an understanding of the actions of patent specialists employed to patent the organisation's new inventions or innovations.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Identify the need for protection of new inventions and innovations

1.1. Research what constitutes a new invention or innovation in Australia

1.2. Identify legislative requirements governing invention and innovation protection

1.3. Identify inventions and innovations within own organisation that may require protection and identify the type of patent applicable

1.4. Research prior art to determine other inventions or innovations in a specific area of technology

1.5. Research patent information, use patent search and patent search tools, and evaluate their usefulness for the organisation

1.6. Evaluate commercialisation potential of new inventions or innovations to determine if protection is worth pursuing

2. Identify and initiate the process for protection of inventions and innovations

2.1. Identify sources of information and advice regarding protection and searching of new inventions or innovations

2.2. Identify processes required for filing a successful patent application

2.3. Identify processes for international invention protection

2.4. Evaluate the role of intellectual property professionals in the patent application process

2.5. Participate in a patent search and patent application and provide relevant information to an intellectual property professional for patent search and patent application, if required

2.6. Identify non-registrable forms of a protection strategy and evaluate the benefits of utilising patent alternatives

3. Monitor the market and protect and use new inventions and innovations

3.1. Identify and review organisation policies and procedures to ensure the protection and use of new inventions and innovations

3.2. Identify and establish processes to use own and others' patents for business growth

3.3. Identify appropriate legal measures to protect an invention or innovation against certified infringements, if required, with assistance from appropriate professionals

3.4. Monitor the market for possible patent infringements

3.5. Ensure all employees are aware of the importance to the organisation of the protection of new inventions and innovations and implement training if required

3.6. Identify and review organisation policies and procedures to prevent infringement of others' inventions and innovations

Required Skills

Required skills

research skills to identify criteria for patent eligibility and to search prior art via patent databases

analytical skills to identify commercial potential of new inventions or innovations

literacy skills to interpret and implement IPAustralia's patent application standards and procedures

problem solving skills to act on potential infringement issues

Required knowledge

what is considered an invention or innovation

registrable and non-registrable forms of protection

patent application guidelines

overview of relevant legislation concerning patents

sources of information and advice on protection of new inventions or innovations

Evidence Required

The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of the following is essential:

identification of issues for the use, management and protection of new inventions or innovations

implementation of policies and procedures for the use, management and protection of new inventions or innovations and legitimate use of others' inventions or innovations

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

access to appropriate documentation (application forms, etc.) and resources normally available to a patent applicant

access to reliable and appropriate explanatory material and guidelines

access to appropriate computer resources for establishment and maintenance of policies and procedures

Method of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

direct questioning combined with review of portfolio of evidence

oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of protection of new inventionsor innovations and its implications for the organisation

development of action plans for implementation of policies and procedures for the protection of new inventions or innovations, and commercialisation of new inventions or innovations

analysis of case studies around patents, with recommendations for action

Guidance information for assessment

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

other units from BSB07 including other units relating to intellectual property

design units

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Inventions may include:

any device, substance, method or process that is:

inventive (i.e. not obvious to someone with knowledge in the field of the invention)

novel (i.e. new)


Innovations may include:

any device, substance, method or process that involves an 'innovative step', i.e. a change that distinguishes the invention from what is currently known about the technology

Legislative requirements may include:

the Patents Act 1990; in particular section 18 which stipulates the inventive threshold

Types of patent may include:

standard patents, which last for twenty years from when the application is filed and cover as many claims as is deemed necessary to protect the invention

innovation patents, which last for eight years from the date of filing and protect up to five claims

Prior art is defined as:

all information in the public domain relating to previous patents, inventions or innovations that may impact on an invention's or innovation's originality

Patent information refers to:

the technical and legal information contained in a patent document

Usefulness includes:

source of technical information

learning about current research and innovations

locating business partners or suppliers

avoiding possible infringement problems

assessing patentability of own invention or innovation

exploitation of out of date patents

Commercialisation potential may include:

the potential profitability of an innovation which takes into account market size, competitors and investment required to get the invention or innovation to market

alternative income stream, such as:

licensing the patent to another party, allowing them to exploit it for a set price or royalties for a set time

profiting from the manufacture and sale of a product

selling or assigning all or part of the rights to the patent

use of other's inventions or innovations within legal frameworks

Sources of information or advice may include:

IP Australia

Attorney-General's Department

Australian Copyright Council

State and Commonwealth government agencies

lawyers specialising in intellectual property

trade mark attorneys and patent attorneys


business advisors

marketing consultants

branding consultants

copyright collecting societies, e.g. CAL, PPCA, MIPI, APRA, AMCOS


websites, Internet


Processes may include:

carrying out searches to ascertain originality of the invention or innovation

reviewing and proliferating confidentiality agreements within organisation or among people who may need to know about the invention/innovation before a patent application is filed so as to keep the invention or innovation secret

establishing a priority date by filing a provisional or complete application before releasing information into the public domain

providing a specification defining the invention or innovation should this precede the previous step

including a Notice of Entitlement form

International invention protection may include:

filing for protection with the patent offices of overseas countries or regional patent authorities

filing an international application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) through IP Australia

Non-registrable may include:

trade secrets

confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements

Legal measures may include:

consulting with a patent attorney to explore possible courses of action

pursuing infringements through a civil lawsuit to prohibit future infringements and/or seek monetary compensation for past and/or projected losses

pursuing criminal penalties if warranted by the nature of the infringements

Monitor may include:

observing the activities of competitors

regularly reviewing patent databases

watching the market for potential patent infringements


Unit sector

Competency Field

Regulation, Licensing and Risk - Intellectual Property

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.