Your ideas are your intellectual property (IP). You may have an idea for:
- a new business
- new processes or a new business model
- an improvement to how old products or services are used
- a new use for products or services
- new products or services.
Protect your IP
While you cannot copyright your ideas, there are many ways to protect your IP. Protecting your IP prevents other businesses from using it to make money.
Learn more about IP considerations such as copyright, patents, trademarks and designs, and whether your idea will work.
Business name and trademarks
Registering your business name does not protect it. To protect your business name from use by a competitor, you'll need to register a trademark. You can then control the use of the name or any part of the name. A trademark can be a letter, word, phrase, number, sound, scent, logo or image.
Learn more about business names.
Think about IP
Thinking about your IP needs to be an ongoing process. For example, your business may generate new logos and ideas as it grows and it's a good idea to make sure you keep these protected. If you don't protect your IP properly, someone else can use it. You will also need to review and, if appropriate, renew IP protection regularly. For example, you need to renew trademarks every 10 years.
Learn more about protecting your IP.
- Get an overview of IP issues when you are starting or buying a business.
- Search for a trademark to check that your name is not infringing a registered trademark.
- Seek advice from IP professionals such as patent and trademark attorneys, IP lawyers and search firms.
- Learn more about working with business advisers.
- Our IP info kit is an online tool designed to help you understand Australia's IP system and find ways to protect your business's IP.
- Last reviewed
- November 19, 2013