What is your brand design and style worth to your business?

In the first part of our series How to Protect and Commercialise Industrial Design, we discussed the importance of protecting your designs in order to solidify the commercial value your intellectual property delivers to your business, now and in the future, as well as exploring the features and benefits of Design and Trade Marks.

In this second installment of the series, we delve into the other two primary forms of IP protection: Copyright and Patents, and how they can help your business.


All ideas that are written down or materialised into a piece of work, from business to house plans, circuit diagrams or a kids puzzle design through to engineering prototype drawings or artistic works, are automatically protected by copyright for the author of the work.

What is protected by copyright?
  • Drawings
  • Art
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Film
  • Broadcasts
  • Computer Programmes
What are the benefits of copyright?
  • Automatic protection
  • Exclusive right to make copies or publish your works
  • Ability to make adaptations based on the original
  • Can license other parties for use of the work

Copyright protections in Australia are automatic on all original artistic works and works of artistic craftsmanship, including two dimensional aesthetic paintings and sketches, as well as engineering drawings for articles of manufacture.

If a copyright owner decides to industrially apply a design on an article based on the owner’s original artistic work, then an application may be made to register the design, providing it is deemed to be a new design, otherwise they must file a design application before the artistic work is published. Design registration is necessary as copyright protection is lost with industrial application of the corresponding design and sale of at least two of the subsequent articles.


A patent is a right granted for any device, substance, method or process, which is new, inventive and useful. It provides protection and longevity in the case of new technology that will apply to a product or process, as it can prevent replicas entering your market space.

There are three types of patents in Australia:

  • A standard patent, which gives long-term protection and control over an invention for up to 20 years;
  • An innovation patent, which is a relatively fast, cost-effective option that provides protection and control over an invention for up to eight years; and
  • A pharmaceutical patent, which is industry specific and provides protection and control for up to 25 years.
What is protected by a patent?
  • Inventions
  • New processes
What are the benefits of a patent?
  • Prevents other parties from manufacturing, using or selling your invention without permission
  • The ability to licence another party to manufacture your invention on agreed terms
  • Contributes to significant commercial gain due to uniqueness in market
  • Encourages research, innovation and new technology across industries

Suffice to say, if you have invented a new product or process, it is necessary to consider a patent as it provides a broad form of protection to your IP.

Did you know? There were 32,397 patent applications filed during 2021 in Australia.

 Whilst we have explored the four primary forms of IP protection that can help you protect your competitive advantage and market reputation, whilst simultaneously adding value to your business, there is one more step to creating tangible benefits from your intangible assets: commercialisation.

In the third and final part of How to Protect and Commercialise Industrial Design, we address what factors you need to take into consideration when commercialising an idea.

If you would like any further information on how to protect your IP, please contact the team at Antcliffe Scott.