The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic) in collaboration with IP Australia, has released a whitepaper on protecting your IP overseas. Efic’s focus is on providing Australian small business with the export finance they need to take advantage of global opportunities, especially helping in areas where banks can’t. Through developing relationships with small to medium enterprises (SMEs) Efic understands the intellectual property (IP) challenges they face. These briefings with SMEs led Efic to work closely with us to develop this specialist whitepaper.

The information contained in this specialist whitepaper should help SMEs answer the following questions:

  • What risks do I need to consider when it comes to IP?
  • What solution is best for my business?
  • How do I start to develop my IP strategy?
  • What actions can I take to defend my IP abroad?

Why is protecting IP overseas important?

For Australian businesses, protecting IP domestically can be one of the most important decisions to make, however for some protecting their IP overseas can be just as important.

It’s important for Australian businesses to know that protecting IP in Australia offers very limited to no protection in overseas markets. Without this protection, overseas businesses have the opportunity to copy and sell Australian products. By protecting IP overseas, Australian businesses are protecting their opportunity to export in the future.

As with most things, the correct path in this situation is finding a balance between what IP to protect overseas and managing IP costs. Working with specialist IP lawyers can be a great option, as they can help you develop an IP strategy that realistically reflects your businesses goals.

IP solutions for export

The most common options of protecting a product’s IP in an overseas market are:


  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
  • Applying directly through a country’s IP office (it’s best to seek help from a patent attorney when choosing this method)

Trade marks


  • Generally, you need to file in each individual country you want protection for
  • The Paris Convention, in certain situation can apply for designs IP rights

Plant breeder’s rights

More information

About Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic)

Efic a specialist financier that delivers simple and creative solutions for Australian companies when their bank is not able to help. Its aim is to enable small businesses by helping them to win business, grow internationally and achieve export success.

20 April 2017