Implementing new business ideas safely – establishing a business based on Intellectual Property

  • October 23, 2018

When starting a new business or developing a business idea involving intellectual property it is vital to protect the products of your hard work and knowledge. The first step is to determine what needs protecting, and then to determine how best to protect it.

Intellectual property is an important asset which is capable of being bought or sold and may add substantial value to a business.

There are different protections available, depending on the type of intellectual property in question.

Copyright protects works that are artistic in nature, for example plans, websites and artworks. Copyright protection occurs naturally in Australia without the need for registration, and lasts for 70 years after the death of the creator.

Patents are often used to protect inventions whilst trademarks are utilised to ensure protection of logos, trading names and slogans. Both patents and trademarks must be registered with IP Australia. These protect the originality of the creation and provide the owner with the right to exclusively make, use, hire or sell the intellectual property.

Trade secrets include valuable and unique commercial information which is kept confidential during the course of business. Such information is generally protected by contract and the equitable jurisdiction of the Court. It is important to include appropriate terms in commercial and employment agreements to ensure confidentiality and to avoid your business secrets being disclosed to competitors.

It can be difficult to determine the combinations of protection suitable to the intellectual property owned by your business, and inadequate protection could seriously reduce the value and viability of your business. The information above is a general overview and it is important to seek relevant legal advice in order to assist you in your decisions. For more information or advice please contact the Commercial Team at or on (02) 9525 8688.



Greg Dickson
B.Juris. LL.M.
CEO & Accredited Specialist in Family / De Facto Law
Telephone: 9525 8688
Facsimile: 9526 2608