Last updated: 
27 September 2017

It's up to you as an innovator to decide whether you need external help to secure intellectual property (IP) protection.

As a government body, we can’t recommend one IP adviser over another. However, we have provided a brief guide on different advisers’ roles below.

If you have already engaged an expert, you should still familiarise yourself with how to manage your IP.

Accountants and tax accountants

An accountant can advise how your IP can be listed as an asset, what value can be ascribed to it and how to treat it from a tax perspective.

Depending on the circumstances, IP assets can attract capital gains tax and stamp duty.

If you are considering selling, buying or licensing IP rights, there are tax implications associated with royalties. These are normally viewed as income for tax purposes.

Patent and trade marks attorneys

Patent and trade marks attorneys can help you protect valuable income-earning IP by providing advice on the different types of IP and their strengths prior to you applying.

Patent and trade mark attorneys are not necessarily lawyers. Patent attorneys will have qualifications in technical areas such as physics, engineering or chemistry, but they also study patent legislation. Trade marks attorneys will have qualifications relating to trade marks legislation. A patent attorney can also assist with design registration, as can an IP lawyer.

You may be able to seek patent attorney advice at an early stage, to ensure that your innovation can be patented and that you take the necessary steps to keep the innovation secure.

The Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys offers a free 30 minute initial consultation with an attorney.

Branding consultants

Branding consultants can add value to your business. They can help to create a name or trade mark for your business, corporate entity, products or services. This name must be marketable and able to be protected to maximise the value associated with it.

Branding consultants can also help to create and implement a full corporate, product or services brand and image strategy. This can position you as distinctive, unique and independent in your market.

IP lawyers

IP lawyers can provide a legal or ownership framework to protect your business operations. They can help establish potential joint venture companies, advise on infringement matters and help develop contracts around your IP. 

Franchising and export consultants

Franchising consultants can help you to create new streams of income from your IP by licensing it to third parties.

Similarly, export consultants can expand the earning power of your IP, as well as that of your products and services, into new geographic and cultural areas.

Management consultants

Management consultants can provide strategic advice based on their understanding of the environment in which your business is operating. They can review opportunities to expand your business in light of market conditions, financial constraints, management relations issues and external factors such as legislation and government development incentives.

Plant breeder qualified persons

To ensure technical rigour in granting plant breeder's rights, innovators need to engage the services of an accredited qualified person. The qualified person, in collaboration with us, accepts responsibility for all aspects of the comparative trial, including the choice of comparative varieties, experimental design, data collection, statistical analysis and preparing a description of the variety.

Licensing professionals

For specific assistance and advice on licensing you can contact the Licensing Executives Society of Australia and New Zealand.