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Michael Schwager portrait

I am pleased to introduce the 2020 edition of the Australian Intellectual Property (IP) Report. The theme for this edition is the digital economy, an important part of our ability to communicate and deal with the challenges that the year has already brought, and which is integral to Australia’s future as set out in the Government’s strategy, Australia’s Tech Future.

IP rights underpin investment in intangible assets, such as branding and designs, which is key to jobs and growth in the 21st century. In 2018-19, IP investment in Australia totalled $39.6 billion, which represents more than one in ten dollars invested in Australia.(1)End note 1. ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2019, 5206.0 – Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, Table 3, Sep 2019, /Lookup/5206.0Main+Features1Sep%202019?OpenDocument, accessed 3 February 2020.

The latest IP statistics for 2019 show some tapering off from the record levels of applications that were filed for patents, trade marks and designs at IP Australia in 2018. This fall in Australian applications reflects a softening of growth in the world’s advanced economies as well as the fact that 2018 was a record-breaking year.

Our aim with this report is to continue to raise awareness of IP rights and their value for businesses of all kinds and sizes as well as for the broader community, and to deliver improvements to the IP system—as with the recently passed IP Act which completed the Government’s response to the Productivity Commission inquiry recommendations relating to registered rights.

I hope that the data, research and analysis produced by IP Australia and summarised in this year’s Australian IP Report will provide valuable insights to help drive productive and informed discussion and decision-making.



Michael Schwager
Director General, IP Australia