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Published: 
29 April 2021

We’re pleased to announce the ninth edition of the Australian Intellectual Property (IP) Report is now available. 

2020 was an unprecedented year, as businesses faced significant challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this uncertainty, our IP system has played an important role in providing Australians with the confidence to innovate, by ensuring that they can protect their innovations and brands both in Australia and abroad. This report examines how businesses and individuals interacted with IP rights in a COVID environment.

We have worked with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Communications to include a chapter on the value of copyright to the Australian economy for the first time. This provides a deeper overview of the Australian IP landscape and the value IP contributes to the economy.

Some report highlights include:

  • In 2020 trade mark applications in Australia soared, particularly during periods of lockdown, as governments acted to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Trade mark applications increased by 8% compared to 2019, driven by Australian applicants seeking increased trade mark protection.
  • Plant breeders rights filings increased by 12% from decade low filings in 2019.
  • New research into how exporters respond to economic shocks and the role of trade marks in shaping their responses found positive results. Trade marks activity is shown as an important predictor of export entry and performance.
  • Patents and design rights filings fell by 2% and 4% respectively. In the case of designs, this decline can be attributed to a downturn in international trade, while the fall in patenting is due to a reduction in filings originating in Australia.

The IP Report is built using our Intellectual Property Government Open Dataset (IPGOD) product.

By stimulating public discussion on IP through this report we aim to provide a forum for engagement. In this spirit, we welcome your comments, suggestions and questions.

Email us at chiefeconomist@ipaustralia.gov.au.