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patent question-I`m not even sure if this is possible??

ark23ark23 subscriber Posts: 4
edited May 2008 in Protecting Your Ideas
I`ve been reading as much as i can here in sun and through IP australia.
I`m confused about what patents can and cannot be.
I`ve just read a thread where someone suggested getting  a patent for trade secrets.It was for a website.
Are patents purely for inventions and just methods(that produce a product or perhaps a by product)?
Reason i ask,is I have an idea for a retail and service business that as far as my market research there is nothing like it in Australia(where i live and intend setting up business).
Possibly future expansion plans into other countries as a franchise.
Without giving away the details..the retail business idea would compose of 3 or so unique  "product departments" and 2 or 3 service "departments". I`ve made it sound pretty generic,but it`s a viable market and if done correctly i could brand it and repeat it in a franchise.
I want to protect the idea from being replicated before i can start it or even once i`m launched. Is this even possible to patent?
I`m guessing it can`t. Unless perhaps i devised a unique way to serve the customers?
I just wouldn`t want copycat business`s to open up in other states before i am able to expand the business when that time comes.
Although in this underserved niche its possible for the small competition that i would have to expand their stores..
ahh well maybe i`m barking up the wrong tree..LOL I understand if this is hard to answer.


  • ark23ark23 subscriber Posts: 4
    So far what i`ve gathered from my own research and what you`ve said...
    What I could do is register the design of the retail business premise,becuase as my plans stand i`ll probably end up buying land and building and later on franchising.
    somehow it looks like the trade secret cant be patented..which is a problem becuase its the main process for getting product to customer and as marketing strategy..
    I guess thats what anti-trust laws are about(not even sure if australia`s laws are as tough as america..)
    I guess if i get in early enough and create a very good "ideavirus" and get in while there is a vacuum,I`ll be seen as a pioneer in that area/brand will become strong..so that even if competitors try and come in..it would be hard for them..
    ..only worry is not having enough money to dominate entire australian market..LOL and have a competitor start up in say nsw with more capital..
    oh well i guess if it`s meant to be..I`ll find solutions..
    Once again thanks!
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