Choosing the right IP

I want to protect:

My business name – eg. Frontier Recruitment

I want to:

Register my business name – eg. Frontier Recruitment

Registration of business names is managed by business.gov.au. Consider registering your business name before the business starts trading. Make sure that the name is registered in every state and territory where your business operates.

Business name registration does not stop others from using the same business name. If you would like to do this, you should consider registering your business name as a trade mark.

You may also want to consider registering your company name. For information about company names visit the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Register my company name – eg. Citadel Group Ltd

You can register your company name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

If you wish to trade using a name other than your registered company name, you should consider registering that trading name as a business name. You can do this by visiting business.gov.au.

Company name registration does not stop others from using the same company name. If you would like to do this, you should consider registering your company name as a trade mark.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Stop others from using the same business name – eg. Frontier Recruitment

Have you considered registering your business name as a trade mark? A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trade mark you obtain exclusive use of the trade mark throughout the Australia.

For more information, read about trade marks.

Have you also considered registering your business name? You should consider registering your business name before the business starts trading. Make sure that the name is registered in every state and territory where your business operates. For more information visit business.gov.au.

You may also want to consider registering your company name. For information about this visit the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

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My name – eg. Giorgio Armani

I want to:

Protect my product name – eg. Aeroplane Jelly

Have you considered registering your product name as a trade mark? A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trade mark you obtain exclusive use of the trade mark throughout Australia.

For more information, read about trade marks.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Protect my personal name – eg. Giorgio Armani

You could consider registering your personal name as a trade mark if it relates directly to a good or service. However, you are unlikely to achieve a trade mark if it is for your name alone. Also, common surnames such as SMITH or JACKSON would have problems achieving registration.

A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trade mark you obtain exclusive use of the trade mark throughout Australia.

For more information, read about trade marks.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Register a domain name

All computers on the internet have a unique identifying number which is called an Internet Protocol address. Internet Protocol addresses can be difficult to remember, so we can use a unique name – known as a domain name to correspond with an Internet Protocol address.

For example – IP Australia's Internet Protocol address is 203.21.147.134 but most people access the website using the domain name www.ipaustralia.gov.au.

A domain name is not a form of intellectual property. However, you can register a domain name as a trade mark if it meets the requirements of the Trade Marks Act 1995. The rules and policies for registration of domain names in com.au may be viewed at the .au Domain Administration website.

For more information, read about domain names.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Register my business name – eg. Frontier Recruitment

Registration of business names is managed by business.gov.au. Consider registering your business name before the business starts trading. Make sure that the name is registered in every state and territory where your business operates.

Business name registration does not stop others from using the same business name. If you would like to do this, you should consider registering your business name as a trade mark.

You may also want to consider registering your company name. For information about company names visit the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Register my company name – eg. Citadel Group Ltd

You can register your company name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

If you wish to trade using a name other than your registered company name, you should consider registering that trading name as a business name. You can do this by visiting business.gov.au.

Company name registration does not stop others from using the same company name. If you would like to do this, you should consider registering your company name as a trade mark.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

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A phrase, word/s, brand, logo, acronym – eg. ‘Just do it’ by Nike, Kodak, Billabong and KFC

A phrase, word/s, brand, logo, acronym

Have you considered registering your product name as a trade mark? A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trade mark you obtain exclusive use of the trade mark throughout Australia.

For more information, read about trade marks.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

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An image/picture – eg. Lonely Planet

Protect an image/picture that someone else has created for me.

Have you considered registering the image/picture as a trade mark? A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trade mark you obtain exclusive use of the trade mark throughout Australia.

For more information, read about trade marks.

You might also want to consider whether the image/picture someone created for you is protected under copyright. Copyright protection is free and automatic in Australia and protects the original expression of ideas, and not the ideas themselves.

Copyright in Australia is administered by the Attorney General’s Department.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Protect an image/picture I have created.

You may be referring to copyright. Copyright protection is free and automatic in Australia and protects the original expression of ideas, and not the ideas themselves.

Common works protected by copyright are:

  • books
  • films
  • music
  • sound recordings
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • artwork

Copyright also protects originally created:

  • typographical arrangements
  • databases
  • media broadcasts
  • computer programs
  • compositions of other people's work such as academic journals or CD compilations.

Copyright in Australia is administered by the Attorney General’s Department.

You may also want to consider registering the image/picture as a trade mark? A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trade mark you obtain exclusive use of the trade mark throughout Australia.

For more information, read about trade marks.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Protect an image used to identify what I am selling

Have you considered registering your image/picture as a trade mark? A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trade mark you obtain exclusive use of the trade mark throughout Australia.

For more information, read about trade marks.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

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An innovation, invention or idea – eg. Cervical cancer vaccine

Protect a new idea

Have you considered registering your idea as a patent? A patent is a right granted for a device, substance, method or process that you have invented. It is legally enforceable and gives you the exclusive right to commercially exploit your invention in Australia for the life of the patent.

Please be aware that in order to patent your idea it must:

  • be a tangible invention;
  • be new (not yet publicly disclosed); and
  • be useful (your idea should do what you say it will do

For more information, read about patents .

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Protect an improvement I have made to an existing product

Have you considered registering your improvement as an innovation patent? This kind of patent is specifically for people who have not invented the original product, but have improved it.

An innovation patent lasts for 8 years and is designed to protect inventions that do not meet the inventive threshold required for standard patents. It's a relatively quick and inexpensive way to obtain protection for your new device, substance, method or process.

For more information, read about innovation patents .

If you believe you have invented something new, rather than just improving an existing product you might want to consider registering a standard patent? A patent is a right granted for a device, substance, method or process that you have invented. It is legally enforceable and gives you the exclusive right to commercially exploit your invention for the life of the patent.

For more information, read about patents.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Protect how something looks

Have you considered registering a design? A design protects the visual appearance of a product and can be a valuable commercial asset.

A design is the overall appearance of a product. This includes the shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation which, when applied to a product, give it a unique visual appearance.

For more information, read about designs.

You might also want to consider whether the visual appearance is protected under copyright. Copyright protection is free and automatic in Australia and protects the original expression of ideas, and not the ideas themselves.

Copyright in Australia is administered by the Attorney General’s Department.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Protect how something works

Have you considered registering your idea as a patent? A patent is a right granted for a device, substance, method or process that you have invented. It is legally enforceable and gives you the exclusive right to commercially exploit your invention in Australia for the life of the patent.

Please be aware that in order to patent your idea it must:

  • be a tangible invention;
  • be new (not yet publicly disclosed); and
  • be useful (your idea should do what you say it will do

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

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A product – eg. Safe N Sound baby capsule

Protect how a product works

Have you considered registering your idea as a patent? A patent is a right granted for a device, substance, method or process that you have invented. It is legally enforceable and gives you the exclusive right to commercially exploit your invention in Australia for the life of the patent.

Please be aware that in order to patent your idea it must:

  • be a tangible invention;
  • be new (not yet publicly disclosed); and
  • be useful (your idea should do what you say it will do

For more information, read about patents.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Protect a product brand name

Have you considered registering your product name as a trade mark? A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trade mark you obtain exclusive use of the trade mark throughout Australia.

For more information, read about trade marks.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Protect the overall appearance of a product

Have you considered registering a design? A design protects the visual appearance of a product and can be a valuable commercial asset.

A design is the overall appearance of a product. This includes the shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation which, when applied to a product, give it a unique visual appearance.

For more information, read about designs.

You might also want to consider whether the visual appearance is protected under copyright. Copyright protection is free and automatic in Australia and protects the original expression of ideas, and not the ideas themselves.

Copyright in Australia is administered by the Attorney General’s Department.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

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A design – eg. Speedos

Protect my graphic design

You may be referring to copyright. Copyright protection is free and automatic in Australia and protects the original expression of ideas, and not the ideas themselves.

Common works protected by copyright are:

  • books
  • films
  • music
  • sound recordings
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • artwork

Copyright also protects originally created:

  • typographical arrangements
  • databases
  • media broadcasts
  • computer programs
  • compositions of other people's work such as academic journals or CD compilations.

Copyright in Australia is administered by the Attorney General’s Department.

You may also want to consider registering your graphic design as a trade mark? A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trade mark you obtain exclusive use of the trade mark throughout the Commonwealth of Australia.

For more information, read about intellectual property for designers.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Protect my fashion design

Have you considered registering a design? A design protects the visual appearance of a product and can be a valuable commercial asset.

A design is the overall appearance of a product. This includes the shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation which, when applied to a product, give it a unique visual appearance.

For more information, read about intellectual property for designers.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Protect my industrial design

Have you considered registering a design? A design protects the visual appearance of a product and can be a valuable commercial asset.

A design is the overall appearance of a product. This includes the shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation which, when applied to a product, give it a unique visual appearance.

For more information, read about intellectual property for designers.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Protect the overall appearance of the product

Have you considered registering a design? A design protects the visual appearance of a product and can be a valuable commercial asset.

A design is the overall appearance of a product. This includes the shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation which, when applied to a product, give it a unique visual appearance.

For more information, read about designs.

You might also want to consider whether the visual appearance is protected under copyright. Copyright protection is free and automatic in Australia and protects the original expression of ideas, and not the ideas themselves.

Copyright in Australia is administered by the Attorney General’s Department.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Protect a design that someone else has created for me

Have you considered registering a design? A design protects the visual appearance of a product and can be a valuable commercial asset.

A design is the overall appearance of a product. This includes the shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation which, when applied to a product, give it a unique visual appearance.

For more information, read about designs.

You may also want to consider registering the design as a trade mark? A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trade mark you obtain exclusive use of the trade mark throughout Australia.

For more information, read about trade marks.

Also consider whether the design someone created for you is protected under copyright. Copyright protection is free and automatic in Australia and protects the original expression of ideas, and not the ideas themselves.

Copyright in Australia is administered by the Attorney General’s Department.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

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A plant – eg. Pink Iceberg rose

Protect the name of the plant

Have you considered registering your plant name as a trade mark? If you are interested in registering a trade mark relating to plants, there are some issues you need to be aware of.

For instance, the name of a plant variety cannot be registered as a trade mark.

A trade mark for a plant should be used:

  • if applied to a number of different plants
  • if applied to a single plant, always applied in conjunction with the accepted scientific, common and variety/cultivar names for the plant.

A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trade mark you obtain exclusive use of the trade mark throughout Australia.

For more information, read about trade marks for plants .

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

Protect the plant variety

Have you considered registering your plant variety as a Plant Breeder’s Right? This is an exclusive commercial right applied to a registered variety of plant. The rights are a form of intellectual property - like patents and trade marks - and are administered under the Plant Breeder's Rights Act 1994.

For more information, read about for Plant Breeder’s Rights.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

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My copyright

Copyright protection is free and automatic in Australia. Copyright protects the original expression of ideas, and not the ideas themselves.

Common works protected by copyright are:

  • books
  • films
  • music
  • sound recordings
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • artwork

Copyright also protects originally created:

  • typographical arrangements
  • databases
  • media broadcasts
  • computer programs
  • compositions of other people's work such as academic journals or CD compilations.

Copyright in Australia is administered by the Attorney General’s Department.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

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My artistic creation or artwork

It sounds like you are referring to copyright. Copyright protection is free and automatic in Australia and protects the original expression of ideas, and not the ideas themselves.

Common works protected by copyright are:

  • books
  • films
  • music
  • sound recordings
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • artwork

Copyright also protects originally created:

  • typographical arrangements
  • databases
  • media broadcasts
  • computer programs
  • compositions of other people's work such as academic journals or CD compilations.

Copyright in Australia is administered by the Attorney General’s Department.

You may also want to consider registering your artistic creation as a design. A design protects the visual appearance of a product and can be a valuable commercial asset.

A design is the overall appearance of a product. This includes the shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation which, when applied to a product, give it a unique visual appearance.

For more information, read about designs.

You may also want to consider registering your artistic creation as a trade mark. A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trade mark you obtain exclusive use of the trade mark throughout Australia.

For more information, read about intellectual property for designers.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

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My music

It sounds like you are referring to copyright. Copyright protection is free and automatic in Australia and protects the original expression of ideas, and not the ideas themselves.

Common works protected by copyright are:

  • books
  • films
  • music
  • sound recordings
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • artwork

Copyright also protects originally created:

  • typographical arrangements
  • databases
  • media broadcasts
  • computer programs
  • compositions of other people's work such as academic journals or CD compilations.

Copyright in Australia is administered by the Attorney General’s Department.

You may also want to consider registering your music as a sound trade mark. A trade mark is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of other traders. When you register a trade mark you obtain exclusive use of the trade mark throughout Australia.

For more information, read about sound trade marks.

For specific assistance and advice we recommend you contact an IP professional.

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Last Updated: 13/12/2012