IP Australia has taken an active role in raising awareness and educating SMEs about the importance of the intellectual property (IP) system. Its main activities in this area include:
Users are able to download from the IP Australia website any of the 13 information kits which cover the different forms of registered IP rights and over 100,000 calls are received on the help-line responding to queries from SMEs and independent inventors. The information kits include guides on how to apply for standard patents, innovation patents, trade marks and industrial designs as well as other guides on intellectual property and its value for businesses. The kits are available free of charge.
IP Australia provides tailored information to meet the needs of attorneys, journalists, business, annuity firms and other IP professionals. IP Australia has also developed a number of products for entrepreneurs. In particular, three have been developed that merit special attention:
1. Fashion Rules:
Fashion Rules is a guide to intellectual property for Australia’s fashion and clothing design industry. It was developed by IP Australia in partnership with the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and the Australian Fashion Council. Fashion Rules describes the key types of IP protection available, the process that must be followed to obtain IP rights and encourages fashion and clothing designers to actively maintain and defend their rights. Fashion Rules has its own website www.ipfashionrules.gov.au
which complements the hard copy publication.
2. Make Your Mark: Make Your Mark is a guide to intellectual property for Australia’s industrial designers. It was produced by IP Australia in partnership with Design Victoria and the Design Institute of Australia. Make Your Mark helps designers understand the different types of IP and in particular which IP rights best fit particular circumstances. The guide also helps designers identify the best way for them to manage and benefit from their IP.
3. Protect Your Creative: Protect Your Creative is a guide to intellectual property for Australia’s graphic designers. It was produced by IP Australia in conjunction with Design Victoria and the Australian Graphic Design Association. Protect Your Creative outlines the relevance of different IP rights for graphic designers. It also provides a handy end to end checklist of essential actions that designers need to take to ensure effective management of their IP.
Preparation of SME Case Studies
IP Australia has developed a number of case studies about the use of IP by Australian enterprises. The case studies illustrate how different businesses have benefited from the IP system. Some show how the lack of IP protection and appropriate IP commercialisation strategies has been a problem for some enterprises. Case studies are published on the IP Australia website at www.ipaustralia.gov.au/understanding-intellectual-property/case-studies/
Practical Information on the IP Australia Website
IP Australia publishes a comprehensive range of IP information at www.ipaustralia.gov.au to assist users understand how to identify, protect and manage their IP. We encourage feedback on the usefulness of this information and in this way IP Australia seeks to establish a direct relationship with its customers.
Seminars for SMEs
IP Australia actively participates in seminars specifically targeted at SMEs. Participation ranges from hosting seminars on specific topics, to organising professional speakers to present at industry events. Speakers often include patent attorneys, accountants and companies from the region willing to share their expertise or story in the form of a case study.
For more information on IP Australia’s public education and awareness activities, contact Peter Willimott, Director Marketing & Customer Engagement by e-mail at email@example.com