Protecting competitive advantage in mining

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 06 May 2014   Posted by admin

IN the highly competitive extractive industries, small gains in productivity and efficiency through new equipment, processes and technologies can make all the difference to profitability. Companies involved in every stage of extraction and processing constantly seek to develop new tools to create an advantage. However, if those hard-won innovations are soon exploited by other companies in the sector their value to the inventor is lost. The strength of protection provided by patents and registered designs, created by a patent attorney with a real understanding of the mining sector, is critical to ensuring that an expensive new competitive advantage is not lost to copycat tools.

Innovations do not have to be earth-shattering to be protected. If a new development in an existing tool or process produces a real functional advantage, it may be possible to gain an exclusive right to use, sell and licence this innovation with a patent, innovation patent or registered design. In one recent case in which Intellectual Property firm Fisher Adams Kelly acted on behalf of RemoveRite Inc, their attorneys were able to show that a moderate improvement to a humble hex-headed screw was sufficient to gain a valid registered design.

Established and based in the mineral-rich state of Queensland, Fisher Adams Kelly has been integral to the protection of cutting edge inventions across all mining sectors. Their specialist attorneys were professional engineers first, and continue to work at the forefront of mining innovation, drafting patent applications for technologies including new screens and material screening systems, dragline buckets, wear members such as excavator teeth and their locking mechanisms, slope movement radar, and complex undersea mining systems.

Fisher Adams Kelly has worked with local Australian innovators and global corporations including CQMS, Weatherford, FLSmidth and Nautilus Minerals. Their team of patent attorneys deals with mining companies and engineers every day, and uses their experience with the sector to provide straightforward, frank and timely advice.

Whether new inventions are developed in relation to increasing worksite efficiency, improving safety, refining material extraction, or reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Fisher Adams Kelly knows the business realities and provides an intellectual property protection solution that makes the most of each innovation.

For more information about protecting innovations in mining through patents and registered designs, visit