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Monday, May 13, 2013

Release of Australian Intellectual Property Report 2013

By Lawyers James Gonczi and Anastasia Hardman

IP Australia recently released the Australian Intellectual Property Report 2013. This annual report provides key statistics about Australia's IP system and considers how Australia measures up in terms of IP protection against other countries.

The report identified several key trends, including that:
  • innovation in Australia is increasingly being driven from beyond our shores, with a majority of patent and design applications coming from overseas applicants;
  • commercial opportunities continue to attract Australian innovators in North America, and increasingly in Asia; and
  • Australia's IP system ranks highly in comparison with other countries, however Australian businesses are lagging behind their counterparts in other OECD countries in terms of investment in innovation and ideas.
Some of the most interesting of this year's statistics are considered in more detail below.

IP applications in Australia

  • A staggering 90 per cent of the 26,358 standard patent applications in 2012 were made by non-residents.
  • US residents filed the highest number of applications in Australia (11,376).
  • Patent applications from South Korea and China increased by 48 per cent and 34 per cent respectively. 
  • Applications for innovation patents have risen steeply, from 1341 in 2009, to 1856 in 2012. Most of the increase is as a result of overseas filings, with China accounting for more than half of the total increase. 
  • 59 per cent of design applications are made by overseas and non-resident applicants.
  • Applications by Australian residents have declined slightly since 2006.
Plant Breeder's Rights (PBR) 
  • More non-residents applied to register Plant Breeder's Rights than did Australians, however of the successful registrations, 56 per cent were registered to Australian applicants.
Trade Marks  
  • Trade mark applications now exceed pre-GFC levels.
  • Australian residents filed 66 per cent of total applications for 2012.
  • The majority of non-resident applications originated in USA, UK and Germany, with the UK and Japan showing the biggest growth.

Australians filing overseas

Australians appear to be taking their innovations elsewhere, reflecting the continued importance of the USA as a market for Australian innovations, as well as the increasing market opportunities and regional advantages arising in a rapidly developing Asia.
  • Australians filed 58 per cent more patent applications overseas than in Australia.
  • 44 per cent of overseas applications were in the USA, while 30 per cent were in Asia.
Trade Marks
  • Almost 40 per cent of Australian trade mark filings overseas are in Asia, with China receiving 19 per cent of the total overseas applications and New Zealand receiving 17 per cent.  


State of play in Australia

  • In 2012, the number of patent applications rose in all states other than South Australia and the Northern Territory. 
  • NSW, Victoria and Queensland were the states of origin of more than 90 per cent of the applications in 2012, with most of these applications being made from their capital cities.
  • Growth was highest in the east coast states. Queensland showed the biggest real growth (22 per cent). The number of applications from Tasmania grew by 40 per cent, but this was from base of less than 100 applications.
  • In Australia, 30 per cent of patent applications generate 90 per cent of market value.
Trade marks
  • Most trade mark applications originated in NSW and Victoria, with the majority of these applications being made from their capital cities.
  • There was a 2.6 per cent rise in Australian trade mark applications from 2011 to 2012.
  • Queensland and South Australia represent the two biggest growth states for trade mark applications between 2011 and 2012, with 7 per cent and 9 per cent increases respectively. Trade mark applications from Tasmania and the Northern Territory rose by 20 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, but this was from a low base.
IP and innovation in Australia
  • In the latest Global IP Index, Australia's system ranked third in terms of effectiveness and administrative performance.
  • Innovative firms are increasingly using IP rights to protect their ideas. Commercialised inventions in Australia are on average 40 per cent – 50 per cent more valuable when protected by patents.
  • However, Australia lags behind other OECD countries in IP innovation. For example, in the US intangible capital (such as IP, research and design) is equal to 91 per cent of tangible assets (such as machinery and factories). In Australia that number is as low as 4 per cent.
Trade opportunities
  • In 2011, Australia spent $8.3 billion on technology imports, while earning only $4.9 billion in IP and technology exports. This represents a potential growth opportunity for Australian companies willing to invest in innovation.
  • Australia has strong potential as a producer and exporter of innovative agricultural products.  However, growth of Australian products in Asia is limited by the weak protection of plant breeders' rights in the region.
  • Despite the positive ranking of Australia's IP system, Australia's trade opportunities are affected by issues such as the length of time taken to grant patents in Australia. Patents granted in 2012 took an average of three-and-a-half years from filing for IP Australia to grant a patent.
The Australian IP Report 2013 has provided a very useful snapshot of Australia's IP system, particularly by placing it into its appropriate regional and global context. Over the coming year IP Australia will be seeking to expand on this picture, with a particular focus on issues such as consumer understanding of IP and the efficiency of global IP systems. Allens will seek to update you as new data or analysis becomes available. 

1 comment:

  1. This property report will help many Australian to determine which property is the best for their needs. This will also beneficial to know the things about the property that they want to buy.