What we do

About 50 IP Australia staff members posing in the foyer of the office building

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:

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

We cannot:

  • 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

The Attorney-General's Department administers the Copyright Act 1968 and the Circuit Layouts Act 1989.

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

Meet Ashwin
Masters in Telecommunications

Patent Examiner since 2007
Learn more about working with us