If you run your own business, it is a good idea to ensure you have a good understanding of intellectual property (IP) before you start. This knowledge will help in deciding whether or not you should register your IP or if you are happy to rely on automatic protection, the type of IP you can get protection for and how you can enforce your rights. This article sets out the key resources to go to understand and get more information as well as to get help for your IP.

IP Australia

For information on all registered IP protection, IP Australia is the Government body in charge. Their website is fairly comprehensive and easy to understand. Types of registered IP include:

  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Designs
  • Plant breeder’s rights

All four categories are easily located at the top of IP Australia’s website.

IP Australia also runs a specific online services that are designed to make IP registration processes easier and more efficient for IP owners. These services are available across all four categories of IP rights. Users can log in to perform transactions and access IP Australia’s services, including to apply, register, renew and pay for IP rights. Additionally, IP Australia’s Trademark Headstart service for a trademark early assessment is accessible as well.

Furthermore, IP Australia’s home page provides convenient links to all the databases of registered patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder’s rights. Any user can enter these links and searches for the above IP – this is a good way to check whether your idea has been taken before applying for registration.

Department of Communications and the Arts

In 2015, certain IP rights were delegated over to the Department of Communication and the Arts from IP Australia. This includes copyright and circuit layout rights. Doing a quick search for copyright will give you information on the government’s copyright policy, reforms and reviews underway and the Copyright Tribunal. Their site will also contain links to publications and reports. This is perhaps the best site to obtain up-to-date information on policy and regulations surrounding copyright and circuit layout rights.

.au Domain Administration Ltd

If you would like to register a domain name, this site will give you a list of the accredited registrars where you can go and register a new domain name. It is recommended that you choose your business name based on the availability of a domain name rather than choosing a business name before attempting to register a domain.

Intellectual Property Explorer

For information on the importance of IP in your business, the Intellectual Property Explorer gives useful basics. This site was developed by the Governments of Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore and contains an easy to follow step-by-step system on examining the IP assets of your business. The site is particularly useful to examine and understand IP from a business point of view.


We have comprehensive articles relating to all IP rights, automatic and registered, and we examine IP regarding different industries, including fashion, software development and even IP rights for tattoo artists. We recommend that you read through our articles, and if you have any questions, our IP lawyers will be happy to assist.

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