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 that even if competitors try and come 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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