A patent is a legal right granted by the government to an inventor or assignee of an invention, which gives the inventor exclusive rights to prevent others from making, using, selling or importing the invention for a certain period of time. Patents are intended to encourage innovation by allowing inventors to profit from their discoveries and to promote the public good by making new technologies available to the public.
In Australia, patents are governed by the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) which is the federal legislation that applies throughout Australia and it's governed by the Australian Patent Office which is the government agency responsible for the administration of patents in Australia.
The Patents Act 1990 (Cth) provides for the protection of inventions and it governs issues such as the rights of patent owners, the rights of users, and the administration of patents. The act also provides for the examination of patent applications, the grant of patents, and the maintenance and enforcement of patents.
In order for an invention to be patentable in Australia, it must be novel, useful and non-obvious. Additionally, an invention must be fully and particularly described in a patent application, so that someone else skilled in the field can understand and make the invention.
It's important to note that patents are granted for a specific period of time, usually 20 years from the date of filing, and that the patent owner must pay maintenance fees to keep the patent in force.