Last updated: 
6 April 2016

While the Australian Patent Office was formed in 1904, government involvement in the protection of Australia's innovation began well before the previous century with individual state registers of trade marks, patents and copyright.

Australian Patent Office

The federation of these registers and the introduction of the Patents Act 1903 saw the first patent filed at the new Australian Patent Office in Melbourne, on 13 February 1904. The Australian Patent Office formed to become the Australian Government agency responsible for patent registration and rights. In the years to follow, the office also took responsibility for trade marks and designs systems.

By 1933 the office had moved a small number of staff to the newly formed federal capital, Canberra, and had taken responsibility for patent, trade mark and design registrations.

IP Australia today

Today, IP Australia, the direct descendant of the Patent Office, has grown significantly and receives many thousands of applications per year for patents, trade marks and designs and plant breeder's rights.

Our role has evolved into the administrator of a strong and competitive intellectual property (IP) system. We encourage Australians to value their ideas and realise the enormous potential in protecting and commercialising their IP.

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