Australian IP Report 2023 

IP Report 2023

Welcome to the Australian IP Report 2023


Hon Ed Husic MP

I am pleased to introduce the 2023 Australian IP Report, “IP for a skilled, diverse and productive economy.”

Innovation is a powerful tool for raising living standards over the long term. Intellectual property rights are a key driver of productivity and support Australian businesses and economy through their effect on innovation and the diffusion of ideas. The importance of these rights is evident when you consider that Australian businesses with IP rights account for;

  • Around 35% of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),
  • Jobs for 2.6 million Australian workers,
  • More than $6.4 billion in research and development (R&D) investment annually, and
  • Around 51% of Australia’s total exports.

The report shows that innovation investments remained resilient during the Covid-19 crisis, but there will be challenges ahead with rising living costs impacting risk capital reserves. Patent applications in 2022 were near their record 2021 level, and applications for plant breeder’s rights have grown. However, trade mark applications fell by 11.2% and design applications fell by 3.6%.

There are great opportunities to build on recent labour market gains and grow a more robust economy. Capturing these opportunities requires different sectors of our society working together to address key challenges. 

Harnessing diversity and participation, addressing skills shortages and maximising opportunities in the digital technology sector can help increase economic productivity and support sustainable wage growth. Australia’s IP system has a crucial role to play in achieving these outcomes. For Australian businesses, IP rights drive productivity growth by encouraging innovation and the spread of new technologies and ideas.

For Australian workers, innovation with patents is linked to higher wages and retention, which increases businesses’ incentives to invest in skills and training. 

As this report shows, Australian businesses rely on a diverse workforce to innovate, encompassing young people, skilled migrants and tech workers, as well as strong representation of women in leadership roles. In turn, Australia’s IP-holding businesses create vital opportunities for talented people across occupations at all levels.

Australians should value our know-how – it’s the platform that supports the creation and growth of businesses and jobs. It can also play a critical part in addressing Australia’s key economic challenges.

Hon Ed Husic MP 
Minister for Industry and Science

IP and the economy: key impacts

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IP Report 2023

Michael Falk, Chief Economist, introduces the 2023 Australian IP Report and its key findings.

The Australian IP report presents an important lens across the state of our economy and how the economy is changing.

For businesses with valuable inventions being granted a patent can cause substantial increases in productivity which are passed through into higher wages for workers. Labour productivity in Australia is around 30 percent higher in the median patent-holding businesses than in the median businesses without patents.

New plant varieties contribute to productivity growth in many Australian agricultural industries, partly by expanding agricultural production. In 2022 total PBR applications in Australia rose by 1.3 percent to 301 from their 2021 level.

Around 53 900 businesses operating in Australia each year hold a trade mark. Each additional trade mark is linked to an eight percent increase in revenue per worker. In Australia the median business with a trademark employs around four times the number of workers as the median business without a trade mark. Labour productivity is seven percent higher on average in businesses that hold domestic trade marks.

For Australian businesses in certain design intensive industries, mostly concentrated in manufacturable, holding registered or certified designs rights is linked to higher productivity. Designs are also associated with higher R&D spend and exports. On average, labour productivity was around 30 percent higher for median design-holding businesses than in median businesses without registered designs between 2010 to 11 and 2019 to 20.

Greater gender diversity in leadership has been associated with higher rates of patenting and greater R&D productivity, and gender diversity within the R&D team is also positively associated with more radical innovation. While research investment is lower in businesses with higher women participation they are more productive in converting R&D into patents.

The 2023 Australian IP report provides a rich account of how the IP system contributes to creating a skilled, diverse, and productive economy.