Last updated: 
24 May 2019

Increasingly Australian brands are enjoying positive global recognition inspired by our nation’s “clean, green and safe” image. With global brand reach comes increasingly sophisticated supply chains and opportunities for those who seek to profit from gaps and disinformation in these supply chains.

Changes in the marketplace to develop more sophisticated supply chain systems aimed at helping Australians protect their products and maintain their integrity overseas have created new ways to maintain Australian export confidence. IP Australia aims to be an ecosystem enabler and support Australian inventors in these markets. To enable these services IP Australia is investing in the development of ‘Smart IP rights’ starting with the ‘Smart Trade Mark’.

What are ‘Smart IP Rights’?

Our Smart IP rights are a digital representation of your intellectual property – a global first for IP offices. They can be used online to help enforce your IP, aiding in the prevention of misuse and malicious behaviour. This is done by creating a connection between your IP right on the official IP register, and digital or online services that use them. Smart IP rights can create a thread of information referring to your IP, including where it has been used digitally, validating who the official owner is and providing bibliographic data such as images on your right.

How do they work and how do I get involved?

Smart IP rights are made up of Application Protocol Interfaces (APIs) that are designed to connect to various digital and online services. API’s are intended for developers to build features that help provide services to customers such as IP right holders. We have approached this service design to be used by many different online platforms. If you are a trade mark owner looking to use the Smart Trade Mark, the services should begin to appear in many places online over time. If you would like to see it in certain digital services, you can let us know by contacting us.

We will be releasing the API’s in stages starting with the Smart Trade Mark that can be accessed from our portal.

If you would like to learn more about API’s we have some information available on our website.

Our award-winning concept

Using the API’s created, IP Australia has developed a multi technology concept using blockchain and mobile apps to scan and track products moving through a supply chain. The agency has completed two pilots with local Canberra based producers and successfully scanned and tracked products across boarders from supplier to consumer.

In line with the Digital Transformation Agency’s Digital Service Standard IP Australia undertook the concept as a discovery project. The findings of this project have helped develop our Smart IP rights strategy and informed the design of our next stage for the project.

What’s next?

IP Australia is continuing to build out the Smart IP right API suite creating further digital connectivity of IP rights.

We are also investigating the next stage of our pilot building an application using our API’s and backed by blockchain.