Overview of IP Australia

We administer intellectual property (IP) rights and legislation for trade marks, patents, design rights and plant breeder's rights in Australia.

Timeline of IP Australia

  • 1. 1903: The first federal patent legislation is passed

    It's called the Patents Act 1903 and, effective 1 June 1904, it transfers the administration of patents from individual states to the newly-formed federal government.

  • 2. 1904: The Australian Patent Office (APO) is established 

    Located in Melbourne, the Australian Patent Office is the new government agency responsible for registering patents. It will pave the way for national administration of the IP system in the years to follow.  

  • 3. 1933: The APO becomes responsible for trade marks and designs

    As it takes over the administration of trade marks and design rights, the APO moves a small number of staff to the newly formed federal capital, Canberra.

  • 4. 1980: The APO moves into the international IP arena

    The APO becomes an International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority for patent applications filed in accordance with the Patent Co-operation Treaty.

  • 5. 1998: Intellectual Property Australia (IPA) is established

    The APO is dismantled and replaced by a brand new agency IP Australia and relocates to Discovery House in Canberra.

  • 6. 2008: IP Australia opens a patent examination centre in Melbourne

    Known as the Melbourne Patent Examination Centre, this new location represents a decentralisation of the patent examination space and a boost in jobs for patent examiners.

  • 7. Today: IP Australia continues to receive thousands of applications per year

    We've evolved into the administrator of a strong and competitive IP system, and continue to encourage all Australians to leverage the potential of their ideas.