Intellectual Property 

Intellectual Property (IP) is an umbrella term used to describe the property of one’s mind or proprietary knowledge. It comprises inventions, trademarks, designs or practical applications of ideas. IP is a valuable business commodity and must be protected from misuse or infringement to ensure its full commercialisation potential can be realised by its creator.

We can assist with all aspects of IP law including:

  • Advice regarding intellectual property rights
  • Due diligence/auditing of intellectual property
  • Copyright issues
  • Trade mark registration
  • Business names, product names and service names
  • Domain names
  • Protection of inventions – from conception to market
  • Ownership issues
  • Licensing issues
  • Assistance with contractual obligations
  • Intellectual property dispute resolution
  • Advice for protection of confidential information
  • Patents and product protection


Copyright is a collection of exclusive rights that vest in certain types of creative work.

In Australia, copyright protection is automatic under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Literary works, artistic works, sound recordings, films, radio and television broadcasts and published editions of works are all protected. Practically, this encompasses a range of material created and used within an artistic and commercial environment. For example, literary works will include most material capable of being reduced to writing –including letters, emails, computer programs, song lyrics, novels and articles.

Copyright laws acknowledge that creators of original material should receive legal recognition and reward for their efforts and that third parties should not benefit unlawfully from another’s work. They form an important part of commercial law by protecting against the exploitation of original work and providing remedies to those who suffer loss due to infringement of copyright material.

Because copyright is inherent in the original piece created, there is no requirement (or method) to register the work with a specific authority in Australia. Steps can and should be taken, however, to minimise the potential for infringement or misuse of your copyright material.

Copyright notices should be placed on all copyright works or an electronic rights management information notice attached to works available in electronic format. Creators should keep original manuscripts and details of their work, and any other information that will evidence the work’s originality. This may include the date the work was created, the methodology used, other persons involved in its creation, drafts, workings and drawings.

We can assist with the protection and licencing of your copyright material, and provide advice and guidance regarding infringement and copyright disputes.

Trade mark registration and protection

A trade mark is a ‘sign’ that distinguishes the goods or services of a provider and is used to identify a company’s brand, product or service within the marketplace. The category of signs registrable as a trade mark is broad – it may include any one or combination of a letter, word, name, signature, numeral, device, heading, label, ticket, aspect of packaging, shape, logo, colour, sound or scent.

Trade marks are valuable commodities and should be registered to ensure owners hold exclusive rights to use the mark in association with the class of goods or services in which it is registered. These rights cannot be guaranteed through the mere registration of a business, company or domain name.

A registered trade mark gives its owner the exclusive rights to use, sell, assign, licence or transfer the mark to another. The owner may also seek remedies through the court for infringement of the trade mark rights.

If you do not register your trade mark, you may need to rely on protection through legal action, such as passing off under common law or misleading and deceptive conduct. These actions rely on an extensive reputation and can be difficult, expensive and time consuming.


Inventions that are new, inventive and useful may be protected through patent registration. A patent owner has the exclusive right to use, sell or license the invention for the term of the patent. Patents may also allow the owner to stop others from manufacturing, using, copying and/or selling the device or process.

Registering a patent can often be long and complicated and professional advice is recommended.

Trade Secrets & Confidential Information

Any information that is not known publicly is confidential information. For a business this can include customer lists, business and marketing plans, internal business processes or formulas for products. Business ideas that have not been openly discussed can also be considered confidential information.

There is no registration process for trade secrets or confidential information, and they are normally protected through contracts and internal management procedures.

We can assist with protecting your information through various measures such as confidentiality agreements and restraint of trade provisions in employment contracts.

We are experienced intellectual property lawyers with a genuine interest in working with creators and businesses to ensure their IP rights are protected.

If you need any assistance, contact [email protected] or call 0488 086 006 for expert legal advice.