The Australian Intellectual Property Report 2016 (the Report) has recently been published and can be accessed here.

The Report supports our anecdotal view that the understanding of, and interest in, intellectual property rights amongst Australian businesses and individuals is growing.  However, it highlights again the fact that we now have an ‘opportunity’ to turn this into successful commercialisation.  The lack of an effective mechanism to turn Australia’s R&D into successful businesses has been highlighted for some time now, resulting in the current Federal Government’s National Innovation & Science Agenda.

IP Australia identifies the ‘main findings’ of the Report as a 10% growth in Australian patent applications, a 14% growth in Australian trade mark applications and our highest level of design applications on record.  In addition:

  • Non-residents make up 92% of all patent filings, dominated by the US, Japan and Germany
  • The top three destinations for Australians filing patents abroad were the US, Europe and New Zealand
  • Australian residents filed 64% of trade mark applications
  • China remains the top destination for Australians filing trade mark applications abroad, in line with global trends
  • International applicants filed 53% of the IP right applications received by IP Australia in 2015
  • Australian residents have driven a 5% increase in PBR (Plants Breeders Rights) applications

Australian Businesses with IP Rights Survive

One particularly interesting observation made in the Report is that whilst 35% of all Australian businesses, since 1999/2000, have gone under, only 25% of businesses that hold intellectual property rights have gone under.  The Report puts it this way – this “…may indicate that firms with IP rights tend to live longer than firms without”.

So, if you want to improve the chances of your business surviving the current difficult economic conditions it may pay to consider a strategy that sees you proactively capture and protect your intellectual property.

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