What we do
We administer IP legislation
We administer legislation that governs four types of Intellectual Property (IP) rights. For more information on the legislation for each of the rights see:
We process applications, conduct hearings and maintain IP registers
We receive and process patent, trade mark, designs and plant breeder's rights applications, conduct hearings and decide on disputed matters relating to granting or refusing Australian IP rights.
Our customers are individuals and businesses in Australia and overseas.
We maintain the registers of patents, designs, trade marks and plant breeder's rights and regularly produce journals detailing new applications and registrations.
Australia is a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). This standardises the process for customers who apply for patents in countries that are members of the PCT.
As a PCT member, we:
- receive PCT applications from customers who use the PCT to seek patents in countries that are members of the treaty
- carry out international searches and conduct international preliminary examinations for these customers
We work with professional bodies in Australia and overseas
We work with IP offices in other countries and with international and regional organisations to enhance Australia's role in developing IP systems and processes around the world.
We work with professional bodies, business groups and government to ensure the effectiveness of Australia's IP system, and hold regular meetings with our national stakeholder groups, including:
- The Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia (IPTA)
- AMPICTA, which represents owners of intellectual property in Australia
- The Law Council of Australia
- Licensing Executives Society of Australia and New Zealand (LESANZ)
- International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI)
- Australian Industry Group (AIG)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants
- Certified Practising Accountants
- Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Business Council of Australia
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Other consultation mechanisms include customer surveys and meetings with various advisory and consultative bodies.
We provide a rich source of IP information
Our communication channels provide:
- extensive information about the various forms of IP that can be registered
- options for protecting and commercialising your IP
- access to searchable patent, trade mark, design and plant breeder's rights databases
- a variety of targeted IP programs for small business, exporters, creative industries, the vocational and education sector and schools
We can explain, in general, ways in which IP rights can help organisations innovate and develop a distinctive identity.
We aim to provide individuals and organisations with general information about how to identify, protect and take advantage of their IP.
IP Australia Corporate Plan
The corporate plan sets out the agency's strategic agenda for the next four years. It describes IP Australia's vision and purposes, and the key strategies that will be implemented to ensure that it has the capability required to achieve its purposes and realise its vision.
Agency Multicultural Plan
Our Agency Multicultural Plan reaffirms our commitment to ensuring stakeholders and customers receive fair and equal consideration:
What we don't do
While we are committed to helping you obtain IP rights, and actively provide general information about how to apply for IP rights and how the system operates, we are bound by the legislation under which we operate. There are some things we cannot do for you.
We don't prepare applications
We cannot prepare your applications for you. Attorney firms and law firms in IP matters can provide you with specialised advice. For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.
We don't advise or assess
- assess the commercial potential of your IP
- provide specific advice on how you could use the IP system to further your particular business
- advise you on the merit of your application before it has been assessed by an examiner
We don't manage infringements or monitor markets
We don't monitor the market to identify potential infringement of your rights, enforce your rights or prosecute unauthorised users of your IP. This is your responsibility. Seek legal advice if you think your rights are infringed.
We don't register business or company names
We do not register business or company names. We recommend you search our trade marks database before you register your business name with either the state or territory authorities or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). We offer the Business Names Applicant Search Service to help you make that search.
We are not responsible for copyright or circuit layouts
We don't provide financial assistance
We do not provide financial assistance, but we suggest you view the relevant Government grants and funding options for information about government and other assistance programs that may help your business.
Get professional advice
For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.
Last Updated: 28/8/2015