Managing intellectual property in business

Australian intellectual property (IP) law is designed to encourage innovation and enable businesses that develop original IP to gain a competitive advantage. Applying for IP rights over inventions can be critical to building a business and establishing a market presence.

Most businesses have intellectual property of some type, but they do not always recognise it. IP and other intangible assets include patents, trademarks, designs, and secret processes. While certain creations of the mind are protected by copyright law when they are recorded, such as a written description of a new process, businesses may decide to keep such inventions as trade secrets, make information around them confidential, or apply for a patent, for example.

Decide how you want to protect inventions that make you stand out from others. You need to be familiar with and apply relevant IP protection, record your IP for effective management, and address IP in contracts.

This guide explains how you can manage, identify, record and value intellectual property (IP) assets you have created, paid for or have a licence to use.