IP Australia

IP Australia mission

IP Australia is the Australian Government agency responsible for administering patents, trade marks, designs and Plant Breeder's Rights. By granting these rights and contributing to the improvement of Australian and international IP systems, IP Australia is supporting Australia's economic development.

Mission: To create an effective, efficient and accessible global intellectual property system that promotes innovation, investment and international competitiveness for the benefit of all Australians.

Types of IP

  • patents for new or improved products or processes
  • trade marks for letters, words, phrases, sounds, smells, shapes, logos, pictures, aspects of packaging or a combination of these, to distinguish the goods and services of one trader from those of another
  • designs for the shape or appearance of manufactured goods
  • copyright for original material in literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works, films, broadcasts, multimedia and computer programs
  • circuit layout rights for the three-dimensional configuration of electronic circuits in integrated circuit products or layout designs
  • plant breeder's rights for new plant varieties
  • confidentiality/trade secrets including know-how and other confidential or proprietary information

Find out how these types of intellectual property differ from business, company and domain names which don't necessarily give exclusive rights of ownership.

Creating IP does not mean you own the rights to it

With the exception of copyright and circuit layout rights, which are automatic, you must take formal steps to register your IP and obtain the legal rights of ownership. Otherwise, you will have to rely on common law to prove ownership and prior use for non-registered IP.

Note: Registering your IP rights in Australia does not give you international protection. You must apply for this separately.

You should develop strategies to protect your IP rights. Fail to do so and you may put your business at risk.

Do not talk about your idea or make it public too soon, or you may lose the legal right to exclusive use of your IP.
Make sure that, when disclosing or marketing your invention or design in Australia, you do not invalidate a future patent or design in another country. Different IP rights vary in the protection they provide. Often, more than one type may be necessary to fully protect your creation.

IP Australia (Australian Government)

Ground Floor, Discovery House, 47 Bowes Street, Phillip ACT
Tel: +61 2 6283 2999
Fax: +61 2 6283 7999
Email: assist@ipaustralia.gov.au
Website: www.ipaustralia.gov.au

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