A design is the overall appearance of a product - the shape, configuration, pattern and ornamentation which gives a unique visual appearance.
IP in everyday life
Use our interactive web page to learn how you encounter IP in everyday life
Every day you come into contact with products that have protected intellectual property (IP). Whether it is your brand of bread, or the armchair you sit in, the car you drive, or the shoes you wear. IP is everywhere.
What is IP
IP stands for 'intellectual property'. Understanding IP is critical to protecting your unique ideas. The IP glossary will help explain the most important IP words, terms and concepts.
Why use IP
IP rights are an incentive to encourage and reward innovation. Understand the values and attributes that go into an IP right and the business benefits.
How to use IP
There are a number of ways you can protect your IP, including the how, what and alternative protection methods. Make sure you get the right advice about IP.
Ownership of IP
IP rights establish ownership and rights to use intellectual property. Learn how you document the ownership of your IP and the crown use of IP.
Commercialise your IP
Commercialising your IP is the process you undertake to get your products or services into the market place, including how to commercialise internationally, licensing, and commercialising indigenous business.
IP for business
IP can significantly affect how you start a business and expand its potential. Areas to consider include an IP audit, franchising, branding, doing business overseas and financial matters.
IP for designers
Designers create IP. It is a valuable business asset. Architecture, graphic, jewellery and fashion are some of the areas included in the design industry that need to protect their creative output.
IP for education and training
IP activities for schools and information resources for higher education. Web interactives showcasing IP in everyday life and a history of Aussie innovations.
Case studies are a fascinating way to understand IP and how it applies to you and your business.
Use our online system to apply and manage your intellectual property
eServices is a secure, reliable and convenient way to access a range of IP Australia's transactions and services. With eServices, you can apply for an IP right or make a payment to renew your IP right.
Choosing the right IP
Having trouble figuring out which IP right is suitable for you? Try our interactive assistant to guide you to the most appropriate choice.
A patent is a right granted for any device, substance, method or process that is new, inventive and useful. Find out more on the application process, time and costs, searching for a patent and how to apply.
A trade mark is a right that is granted for a logo, picture, letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell and/or aspect of packaging. Find out more on the application process, time and costs, searching for a trade mark and how to apply.
A design refers to the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation that gives a product a unique appearance. Find out more on the application process, time and costs, searching for a design and how to apply.
Plant Breeder's Rights
Plant Breeder's Right (PBR) are used to protect new varieties of plants that are distinguishable, uniform and stable. Find out more on the application process, time and costs, searching for a PBR and how to apply.
Copyright protection is free and automatic in Australia and protects the original expression of ideas, but not the ideas themselves. How does it work and what are the latest changes?
Other types of IP
The four IP rights areas administered by IP Australia are not the only types of IP available. Your product may require protection under copyright, circuit layout rights, confidentiality and/or trade secrets.
Access a number of online transactions, including new applications and renewals for existing IP rights.
A comprehensive list of all our forms, including links to online and printable forms.
Change your name or address
It's important to keep your contact details up to date.
Learn more about how to update your contact details for different IP Rights. It's important for IP Australia to have your current contact details in case we need to contact you.
Renew your IP
You must pay the appropriate renewal fees on time to maintain your IP rights. All four IP rights require periodic registration renewal.
Amend your IP
All IP rights can be considered for amendment. All amendment requests will be assessed by an examiner.
Change your name or address
Please notify us as soon as possible if your name or address details change.
Review your IP
Intellectual Property (IP) can add substantially to your company's total value and it is essential that you account for it. When and how should you review your IP and how to value your IP assets?
A commemorative certificate is a display of your IP Right that you can put on exhibit while keeping the official certificate safe and sound.
WARNING: Do not pay unnecessary fees!
We are aware that customers have received invitations from companies offering services to help them protect their intellectual property (IP) rights in return for a fee. You should be wary of unsolicited or fraudulent IP protection, promotional or advertising services.
Before paying a fee for any IP related service, we recommend that you carefully consider what, if any, protection, promotion or other value the service will provide.
Enforcing your IP
Taking action against a person who infringes your IP rights is known as enforcement. Enforcing your IP includes protecting your IP online, resolving disputes, going to court, IP insurance, getting help and enforcing your IP rights overseas.
Infringing on others' IP
How do you develop a basic infringement avoidance strategy, and how to respond if you are accused of infringement?
Counterfeiting and piracy
It is important to only claim a legally registered IP, as certain breaches may leave you criminally liable.
Unsolicited IP services
Inventors, designers and businesses should be wary of unsolicited or fraudulent IP protection, promotional or advertising services.
Did you know that you can subscribe to get our free email updates straight to your inbox?
We've been tinkering behind the scenes and made a few changes to the design - we think you'll like it. Subscribe today and check it out.
What we do
We administer legislation that governs four types of IP rights in Australia, which has a long history.
Contact us by phone or visit us in person. Alternatively, use our customer enquiry form or our feedback form to have your say.
Doing business with us
Documents, and general information to help you do business with us.
Accountability and reporting
Reports and information on how we are performing and freedom of information.
We work with international agencies to build and strengthen the IP rights system.
Current IP legislation and information on future IP legislation changes.
We have a number of current consultations and reviews, and are committed to involving the public.
Find out more about working for IP Australia, including our current vacancies, non-ongoing register, Indigenous recruitment and tips for applicants.
News, events and publications
Find out about our latest news, featured articles, events, publications, press kits and how you can stay informed.
About this site
Review our accessibility statement, system availability, disclaimer, terms and conditions and our sitemap.
Shark Tank reality TV series
is a reality series of budding entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas in order to secure investment finance from a panel of venture capitalists.
09. Designs Guide
24 Oct 2014
An easy guide to applying for your design.
Last Updated: 23/11/2013