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IP rights administration

IP Australia is an important element of Australia’s innovation ecosystem, and we have a strong focus on providing robust IP rights.

Table 1: Rights administered by IP Australia, 2020–21


Trade marks

Plant breeder’s rights

Design rights

37 524 applications, of which 10% were Australian

86 137 applications, of which 63% were Australian

326 applications, of which 42% were Australian

7 553 applications, of which 36% were Australian

Duration: up to 20 years (standard patent) or eight years (innovation patent)

Duration: no limit

(renew every 10 years)

Duration: up to 20 years (standard plant breeder’s right)

Duration: up to 10 years

Protects novel, useful, non-obvious invention

Protects ‘brands’, including words, phrases, numbers logos, images and sounds

Protects new plant varieties

Protects the shape, look and appearance of a product

During 2020–21, we continued to develop better systems and strategies to improve the quality, timeliness and efficiency of our service delivery and the IP rights we administer.

We continued to deliver on our new quality review framework, moving IP Australia to a principles-based approach that enables greater consistency across our search and examination services. This framework was rolled out across all remaining IP rights and was supported by a new information technology (IT) system in 2020–21, allowing us to continue to streamline and automate our quality processes.

IP Australia also introduced a new performance and achievement framework, placing greater emphasis on collaboration to support a culture of teamwork and continuous improvement. Over time, this will lead to improvements in the production of high-quality IP rights that are robust and defensible for our customers.