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  • 22 Rights in Society – from discrimination to intellectual property
  • Intellectual Property and Copyright
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Intellectual Property and Copyright

This chapter explains what intellectual property and copyright is as well as providing information on major areas of law impacting the use of intellectual property and copyright, such as; the sources of law, the preconditions to having ownership of copyright or intellectual property as well as what happens if intellectual property or copyright is infringed. There is specific information regarding designs, patents and trademarks located in this chapter.

What is Intellectual Property?

IP Australia is the government department that administers patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeders rights. Registering intellectual property is a process that is dealt with by IP Australia. Copyright is an automatic right. The regulation of copyright is a process that is administered ...

How Intellectual Property Protects Your Ideas

An intellectual property owner can sue for infringement when someone uses their intellectual property without their permission. It is advisable for intellectual property owners and users to contact an intellectual property professional to discuss their rights and responsibilities, and the range o...


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Design law protects the appearance of commercially produced products. The Designs Act 1906 (Cth) establishes a system for registration of new or original designs for use in relation to mass-produced articles. Registration gives the owner the exclusive right to apply the design for which it is reg...


The Patents Act 1990 (Cth) forms the basis of Australia’s patent law. Patents only exist in registered form.  Applications for registration must be made to IP Australia. Patents provide inventors with a temporary exclusive right to exploit their invention and authorise others to exploit it. Pa...

Trade Marks

What can be a trade mark? A trade mark is a right over a letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture and/or aspect of packaging. A trade mark is often distinct in the sense of having a particular design or typography in the words, numbers or phrases it uses. Benefits of reg...

Confidentiality / Trade Secrets

There will be instances where legal protection of intellectual property will not suffice or is not applicable or is too expensive. Examples include inventions that are not patentable, technical know-how, client lists, etc. Such information will often be a valuable form of property that should be ...

Page last updated 19/03/2018

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