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.
web entrepreneur and web designer