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The Australian Intellectual Property Report 2019

The seventh edition of the Australian Intellectual Property Report 2019 has been released and published last April 11, 2019. It comes with enhanced data visualization to better present the statistical data in simpler terms and aid the readers in understanding IP statistics.

Australia owes part of its economic growth for the past 26 consecutive years to the IP system as more and more people continue to invest in IP and apply for IP rights. IP rights encourage people to innovate and create new ideas by giving them incentives, in doing so, it also provides support for innovation and entrepreneurship.

In general, there are four IP rights which are obtained through IP Australia, as follows:

Patents – determines the figures and trend of technological progress;
Trade Marks – make the investment in intangible assets palpable, as these are important commodities to trade among advanced economies;
Use of design rights – emphasize the part aesthetic innovation plays across the different industries;
Plant breeder’s rights – govern Australia’s prominent position in agricultural production worldwide.

For the year 2018, patent (29,957) and trade mark (79,490) applications increased by more than 3% while applications for design rights (7,816) grew by just over 1% after a record high growth in 2017. The increase in the demand for plant breeder’s rights (PBRs) did grow by 12% but this was just a return to the 2016 level.

Most applications for patents, designs, and PBRs come from abroad as was the usual trend in recent years. Of course, home country marks in Australia were still dominant when it comes to the application of trade marks at 58%, but the increase was due to applications from non-residents at 11%.

In the report, particularly in Chapters 6 and Chapter 7, a research study and analysis by IP Australia is featured. In Chapter 6, there are results of the study on “trade mark cluttering”, where the trade mark register becomes riddled with out-of-use and overly broad trade marks. This analysis concludes the register is not cluttered but this could be an outcome in the future.

Chapter 7 tackles the summary of a joint study conducted by IP Australia and the University of Melbourne on the use of design rights within Australia and how Australia compares to other countries. It shows that Australia is slower than its international counterparts in terms of growth of the design force and rate of growth in design fillings.

The recent trends in the report are a guide for public discussions on innovation and entrepreneurship and stimulate a forum of engagement for comment, research and analytics.

Jaclyn-Mae Floro, BCompSc

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Disclaimer. The material in this post represents general information only and should not be taken to be legal advice.

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