Intellectual Property Services in Australia

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property refers to human creation, inventions, literary and artistic work, symbols, names, and images used in commerce. Intellectual Property is divided into two parts:

1. Industrial Property

It includes a patent for inventions, trademarks, industrial designs, and geographical indications. This type of IP protects design that can be used in an industry.

2. Copyright

This IP covers literary works such as novels, plays, poems, films, music and artistic works such as drawings, paintings, designs, photographs, sculptures and architectural design.

What are Intellectual Property Rights?

Intellectual Property is the rights given to an individual or a company over the creation of their minds. They have exclusive rights to use their own ideas, plans, or other intangible assets without the worry of any competition for a specific period. Intellectual Property Rights in Australia or in any other country can be enforced by a court via lawsuit. The primary reason for having intellectual property right is to encourage innovation without the fear that a competitor will steal the idea and/or take the credit for it.

Types of IP Protection Available in Australia

Intellectual Property rights can be an effective way to assist in the successful innovation of your idea. Here’s the list of IPs available in Australia:

1. Patent

A patent is a right that is granted for any product, process, device, substance that is useful for a business. A patent is legally enforceable and gives you the exclusive right to commercially exploit your invention for the life of the patent.

There are two types of patents granted in Australia:

(1) Standard Patent

It gives a company long-term protection i.e. up to 20 years (25 years for pharmaceutical substances) and control over the invention. The invention claimed in a standard patent must be new, must involve an innovative step and be able to be made or used in an industry.

(2) Innovation Patent

This type of patent provides a short market life that might be superseded by newer innovations, such as computer-based inventions. An innovation patent lasts up to 8 years as they are designed to protect the inventions of a company that do not meet the inventive threshold required for standard patents.

How to Register a Patent in Australia?

A step-by-step guide for applying for a patent in Australia is as follows:

  1. File an initial application with IP Australia from their official website
  2. Disclose your product, process, or invention in the application
  3. After submitting the application, an innovation patent is granted
  4. The patent is published in the 'Australian Official Journal of Patents' as well as online on IP Australia's website
  5. A standard patent is granted approximately 18 months after the application is submitted and the patent application is published similarly
  6. After the publication, your product, process, or innovation becomes publicly known and you are entitled to stop anyone who infringes your patent from this date
  7. After the publication, in case of a standard patent, the product is examined by the officials to know whether there is compliance with all the requirements of the Patents Act 1990 (Cwlth), including whether your innovation meets the technical requirements. Innovation patent need not require examination unless you request one
  8. After the examination, opposition parties are granted 3 months to challenge the product and if no one challenges, your patent is granted

2. Trademark

A trademark generally refers to a brand or a logo. A trademark in Australia can also be obtained for a business name, caption, catchphrase, taglines etc. It gives an individual or a company an exclusive right to commercially use, license, or sell the trademark. Trademark registration in Australia is a simple process and a company can take help from a trademark attorney or a trademark consultant.

How to Register a Trademark in Australia?

  1. Firstly, start with a trademark search in Australia which is under the ‘Australian Trademark Search System’ to make sure the trademark you want to use is available and there is no registered trademark under the same
  2. Following which you can apply for a standard trademark on IP Australia’s official website
  3. Your application will be assessed 3-4 months after filing the application
  4. If your trademark is accepted, it will be advertised as an accepted application in the Australian Official Journal of Trade Marks. If anyone wants to challenge your application, they can file an opposition
  5. If no one challenges, your trademark will be registered after you pay the registration fees. You must pay within six months from the date your accepted application is first advertised
  6. Once the trademark in Australia is registered, it is protected in all Australian states and territories for an initial period of 10 years

3. Copyright

A copyright is a type of IP protection which is used to describe the rights that the creator has over that literary and artistic work. It includes books, music, paintings, poems, films, computer program, advertisement, database, maps, architectural designs, and maps.

There is no system for copyright registration service in Australia. Copyright protection does not depend on publication, a copyright notice, or any other procedure. Copyright protection is free and automatic from the moment your work is on paper, or disk, or otherwise put into “material form”. Copyright lasts for the life of the creator, plus 70 years.

4. Circuit Layout Rights

These rights are protected under the Circuit Layouts Act of 1989. It protects the original layout design for integrated circuits and computer chips. The owner of an original circuit layout has an exclusive right to copy the layout in a material form, make integrated circuits from the layout, and exploit it commercially in Australia. These layouts are highly complex and the intellectual effort in creating the same is considered of great value.

There is no registration required for protecting Circuit Layout. Circuit layout protection exists automatically from the moment the layout design is created. The maximum duration of protecting the circuit layout is 20 years.

5. Registered Design

In simple terms, a registered design protects the appearance of a product. A company or an individual can register the design of their product if it has an industrial or commercial use with a visual appearance that is new and distinctive. It can be features of a shape, pattern, configuration, or ornamentation. The maximum duration of protecting the registered design is 5 years from its registration.

How to Apply for a Registered Design in Australia?

  1. If you have researched your way through various designs and are confident that your design is unique and can be registered then the first step is to file a design
  2. After your design is filed, only very limited changes are allowed
  3. The next step is to get the design registered. It will take a few months to register the design after you file an application for the same
  4. The registered design is then advertised in the Australian Official Journal of Designs, and made available for searching in the Australian Designs Data Searching (ADDS) database
  5. Next step is the examination of the design. If the officials find your design new and distinctive, your design will be certified, which means you will have legal exclusive rights over your design

6. Plant Breeder’s Rights

It is also known as Plant Variety Rights (PVR).  These rights are granted to the breeder of a new variety of plant that gives the breeder exclusive control over the production, sale, and distribution of the new variety and allows you to receive royalties from the sale of plants and to sell your rights.

How to Apply for a Plant Breeder’s Rights in Australia?

The application process is divided into different stages. In the first stage of the application process following steps is undertaken:

  1. Fill in an application form 1 by providing details, information about the origin of the new plant variety and an initial case for eligibility
  2. Along with filing the application, you have to complete a Nomination of a Qualified Person (QP) form to assist you in the next step
  3. The application is examined by the officials
  4. Once the application is accepted you are covered by provisional protection. This usually occurs within two months of filing your application if all eligibility requirements are satisfied

The next stage comprises the following steps:

  1. Fill in the next application form 2 titled ‘Plant Breeders Rights Part 2- Description of the Variety’
  2. Pay the examination fees. It must be paid within 12 months of the acceptance of application form 1
  3. Deposit propagating material in a genetic resource center and complete the Confirmation of submission to a genetic resource
  4. Submit the form certification by a QP
  5. A description and photograph comparing the new variety with similar varieties is published in Plant Varieties Journal
  6. This is followed by a six-month period for objection or comment during this time a certificate fee must be paid
  7. If there is no objection or challenge then you will receive a certificate of PBR. It is protected for maximum duration of 20 years (25 years for few species)

Benefits of Availing Intellectual Property Services in Australia

  • Enhancement of the market value of your business
  • Turning ideas into profit-making assets
  • Access to increased finances for your business
  • Protection against competitors copying or duplicating your idea
  • Long-term competitive edge in the Australian market

Fee Structure | Intellectual Property in Australia

1. Breakdown of Patent Rights Fee

Particulars Cost in AUD
Provisional patent application 110
Standard patent application 370
Innovation patent application 180
Standard patent examination request 490
Innovation patent examination request 500

2. Breakdown of Trademark Fee

Particulars Cost in AUD
TM Headstart (pre-application service) 200
Trademark application 250
Request for extension of time 100/month
Extension of time to pay late renewal fees 100/month

3. Breakdown of Design Rights Fee

Particulars Cost in AUD
Design application 250
Design processing formalities 250
Renewal of registration (further 5 years) 320
Trademark renewal 300
Renewal payment late fee 100/month
Registered design examination 420

4. Breakdown of Plant Breeder's Rights Fee

Particulars Cost in AUD
Examination - multiple application 1,380
PBR application 345
Certificate 345
Annual renewal 345

Business Setup Worldwide Intellectual Property Protection Services

Business Setup Worldwide understands the complexity that a business faces when it comes to legal proceedings, and so we help our clients to simplify the complex process. Few of the services that we will be able to assist you with are:

  • Filing an IP right application
  • Infringement and validity advice
  • Advice and preparation of assignments and licensing agreements
  • Trade mark, business name and domain name renewals and record keeping
  • Brand valuation
  • Registration of industrial designs
  • Maintenance of Australian patents

Why Us?

Business Setup Worldwide is a platform that allows businesses to grow in foreign lands and expand steadily. Our team is expert in company formation, company registration, providing services in accounting and bookkeeping and intellectual property. We help our clients in clearing all the legal proceedings that are essential to establish business foundations, protect intellectual properties, taxation policies, etc. Our Intellectual Property team will enable the comprehensive global protection of your valuable IP assets in Australia.