Entrepreneurs are looking to Australia’s booming economy for opportunities to set up shop. The South Pacific state-continent is experiencing its twenty-nineth consecutive year of positive economic growth. The stability of Australia’s business environment is highly attractive to foreign businesses taking the risk of entering a new market.

Strategically close to Asian markets and well-connected by way of free trade agreements, Australia is a strong contender for foreign investment. For creative industries and disruptive technology developments, the country fronts robust protection policies for intellectual property.

Overview of IP in Australia

Intellectual property (IP) related to doing business includes regulations on patents, trademarks, designs, and trade secrets. Australia advocates the protection of people’s inventions by way of administering the patent, trademarks, designs and plant breeder’s rights offices.

The country’s IP regulations are wrapped up in the powers and functions of the Commissioner of Patents and Registrars. It is important to understand which IP regulation relates to your business idea.

Patent Protection

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The legal rights of patents allow you to be the rightful owner of the manufacturing, using and selling of the property, item and/or brand.

To stop third parties from copying another person’s idea and using it for financial gain, opting to license your brand with a patent is strongly encouraged. This will help your business avoid legal complications of an idea being plagiarized. The legal rights of patents allow you to be the rightful owner of the manufacturing, using and selling of the property, item and/or brand. Australia is part of a signatory party with many other international agreements that protect your IP in other countries.

Applying for this regulation is fairly simple. This can be downloaded online from IP Australian website. Alternatively, you can contact a patent attorney to file this application.

Trademark options

A trademark is a business’ unique trademark and usually, a marketing tool that helps consumers to identify the ‘brand’ of the product or service. Trademark policy requires businesses to pay renewal fees for their trademark every 10 years, and ensuring registration details are kept up-to-date.

Australia is a well-developed country, therefore, maintains security of intellectual property through robust legal frameworks. A trademark doesn’t have to apply to just logos; you can obtain a trademark for scents, jingles, and business names.

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Getting a domain that is the same name as your business will help people remember your unique brand.

Domain names

A web domain name is a website address or URL on the internet that adds an online element to your business identity or brand.

A domain name is not compulsory for a fresh or growing business. However it’s recommended for marketing purposes. Domains allow everyone to enter your website via the internet.  As a business, a domain gives the company credibility. Getting a domain that is the same name as your business will help people remember your unique brand. Additionally, if a company desires sponsors to advertise on its website, a domain name is helpful and will give the website respectability.

Choosing the best domain name for your business should represent the business and brand, should be memorable, with easy spelling and pronunciations and short and different t be competitive.

Protecting design work

Businesses may create a design as part of the branding, for example. As part of Australia requirements, registration of the design is a statutory framework. The parameters for design protection are broad: protection covers one design, a single design spread onto many products, and multiple different designs.

It is important to note that some designs can be legally registered, such as medals, Australian currency and scandalous designs. On the other hand, integrated circuit layout is automatically protected by a modification of copyright. Artwork, however, is automatically protected by copyright.

Copyright regulations

Australia advocates copyright laws to ensure there are protection rights for businesses that have invested their time and skills to create a new material. In fact, Australia has subscribed to several international conventions that guard and deal with copyrights.

If a company complies with all statutory frameworks, then its commercial or creative material is automatically protected, therefore no registration is necessary. There are some exemptions on what is covered. Therefore, it’s recommended that companies seek out local expert assistance on navigating their copyright privileges.  

There is no need to formally register IP that falls under copyright and circuit layout rights, confidential information and trade secrets.

Plant breeder’s rights

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It’s no surprise that as an agricultural powerhouse, Australia offers certain IP protection options to innovators in this dominant industry.

It’s no surprise that as an agricultural powerhouse, Australia offers certain IP protection options to innovators in this dominant industry. Plant breeders’ rights (PBR) is a legal framework to protect new variations of plants. For example, in Australia, water-efficient wheat and bullseye lettuce is a type of plant that would require PBR.

PBR condemns other businesses from taking a plant-breed that has been created and claimed by another, and use this product for commercial purposes. Therefore, this regulation affords the plant’s rightful owners the right to collect royalties whilst having full control of the plant’s production, sale, and distribution.

According to the IP report 2018 of PBR in Australia, to certify PBR, the plant must

  • be distinct from other varieties of the same plant
  • be uniform and stable
  • not have been exploited or sold outside certain time limits
  • have an identified breeder and an acceptable name.

Specifications for claims

Claims for patent protection for plans can include the plants themselves, plant parts, plant cells, isolated DNA sequences or proteins, modified sequences (such as heterologous promoter – gene constructs), and methods of production or use.

Portection is therefore quite expansive; process and components can protect many peripheral components, such as gene technology.

Registering a plant breed

After all the checks are done for authenticity over the unique plant, a candidate will be able to successfully register. It is important to note that PBRs are not automatically protected once they are created, formal registration is required to sustain rights.

Contact us for help

If you’re new to the legality of ensuring your property is yours and will not be copied for anyone’s use, it is highly recommended to get into with a lawyer specializing in IP.

If you need trusted lawyers to help deal with the complexity of IP, contact Biz Latin Hubs Australian business experts on [email protected]. We’ll get back in touch as soon as possible to help with any quires in regards to Australia’s intellectual property regulations.