Our agency

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

What we do

We collaborate with business and the Australian government to register and administer IP rights and legislation for patents, trade marks, designs and PBR. 

Our vision

Our vision is to have a world-leading Australian IP system that builds prosperity through innovation. To achieve this, we aim to give our customers efficient access to products and services so they can continue to innovate.

Our corporate plan

Our corporate plan sets our direction for the year and shows how we'll continue to effectively administer IP rights and legislation for trade marks, patents, design rights and PBR in Australia.

View our corporate plan

Our responsibilities

As the administrators of IP rights and legislation in Australia, we're responsible for:

  • Administering and registering patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeder’s rights (PBR)

  • Registering patent and trade mark attorneys

  • Educating our customers on the role of IP in their business

  • Providing advice to the Australian government for improving the IP rights system both domestically and internationally.

Our portfolio and ministers

We fall within the Department of Industry, Science and Resources as a listed entity under the 

Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

Our Minister is the Hon Ed Husic MP.

Our history

Timeline of IP Australia

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 1933: The APO becomes responsible for trade marks and design rights

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Related content

Our Senior Executive

Our senior executive team consists of the Director General and Deputy Director General. Find out about their experience and expertise.  

Organisational structure

Our organisational structure outlines what each of our business groups do to ensure the efficient operation of our agency.  

Accountability and reporting

We're committed to ensuring accountability and transparency in the way we operate and in our procurement activities. We report details on our annual budget, corporate planning and procurement.