While intellectual property can be a
valuable business asset for business
owners, it must be legally protected if
a business owner wants to increase the
value of their business.
Intellectual property can add further value
to a business when it is sold.
property is the collection of ideas and
creations of your mind or intellect
such as trademarks, logos, concepts,
designs, computer programs and so on.
Most businesses will have some form
of intellectual property that derives
There are several types of legal ownership
available depending on the nature of the
The most commonly
used types are trademarks, patents, design
rights, domain names and copyright.
A trademark is a right granted to a sign or
device used by a business to distinguish
its goods and services from other
businesses. They can take the form of a
letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell,
shape, logo or picture.
Although it is not compulsory to register a
trademark, registering provides exclusive
rights to use the trademark across Australia
for commercial purposes and assign,
transfer or sell the rights of the trademark to
A design can refer to the features of a
shape, configuration or pattern that gives a
product its unique appearance. Examples
of a design include a logo, branding,
packaging and so on. A registered design
gives the owner exclusive rights to
commercially use, sell or licence it.
A patent is a right granted for any device,
substance, method or process which is new,
innovative and useful. If you have developed
a new product or process, you may consider
applying for a patent.
There are two types of patents in Australia;
the "standard” patent provides long-term
protection for 20 years or more and the
"innovation” patent lasts for up to eight
years and applies to innovations that would
not qualify for a standard patent.
Copyright is a free and automatic legal
right applied to any original work such as
art, literature, music, films and so forth.
Copyrights do not have to be registered for
ownership. You cannot copyright ideas, the
works must be tangible.
A domain name is your website address on
the internet. It helps to form your business’
identity and allows your customers to find
your business online. To register a domain
name it must be unique and not already
registered as a business name, company, or
a registered or pending trademark