What is a Patent?

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

A patent is a legally enforceable right to commercially exploit the invention for the life of the patent.

Traditional knowledge, that is based on the old ways of doing things, can’t necessarily be protected with a patent. It needs to have a new inventive element to it. 

A patent can cover a broad range of inventions. In the context of fashion, a patent may protect functional and technical innovation such as wearable technologies and any other unique production process or method involved in creating clothing or designs.  For example, it might be possible to obtain a patent if you come up with a novel technology that generates patterns or develop a manufacturing method that has never been done before. However, the thresholds for what is able to be patented are high so it is recommended to seek legal advice if you wish to explore whether patent registration may be available. In more limited circumstances, business methods may also qualify.

Artistic creations such as clothing, accessories and patterns are not able to be patented, they are protected by other forms of Intellectual Property rights.