IP Australia has recently released the Australian Intellectual Property Report 2016 which explores Australian intellectual property (IP) trends in the past year.

In 2015, IP rights have continued to grow in Australia and in particular:

  • patent applications grew by 10%;
  • trade marks grew by 14%;
  • there was the highest number of design filings on record; and
  • applications for plant breeder's rights increased by 5%.

These statistics are strong indicators that there is growing interest protecting IP in Australia.

Further, the report suggests that based on empirically tested data, businesses with IP rights tend to survive longer than those without. This highlights the importance for businesses to adequately identify their IP rights and protect those rights.

Innovation and successful commercialisation of IP rights are also beneficial to the success of a business. Innovation assists in creating new or expanding existing businesses and can be achieved through collaborations between the public research sector and businesses.

Some of the current initiatives targeted at promoting collaborations include:

Patent Analytics Hub :a service which aids Australian innovators utilise their IP, through providing insights into their technology areas, discovering collaborators and improving commercialisation;

Source IP :digital marketplace which advertises licensable patents generated by the public research sector and facilitates collaboration between business and researchers; and

Intellectual Property Government Open Data (IPGOD) : a complete database which links all IP rights to business identifiers such as ABNs and ACNs.

The report confirms that Australia is a nation of innovation and this trend is likely to continue. Further, IP protection, innovation and commercialisation are vital to the wellbeing of a business. As a result, Australian businesses are reminded to:

  1. Identify any IP the business owns/has created;
  2. Ensure that these rights are adequately protected;
  3. Consider how best to commercialise these rights; and
  4. Consider the opportunities available for collaborating with the public research sector.