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Why it’s important to protect your IP. What is your IP worth to you as an innovator?

A stable economic system can be measured by how well a country protects and manages its real property. As we’ve progressed over the past couple of decades to a knowledge-based economy the need to manage property rights has not changed but the tangibility of the property has. We live in a world driven by ideas and innovation and realising this value in commercialising intellectual property (IP) is something small to medium sized businesses are beginning to understand.

“Intellectual Property (IP) is now the most valuable asset class on the planet and yet establishing IP value and exploiting the economic potential of IP assets remain much of a mystery to businesses, financiers and investors.”

We live in an age where Instagram accounts are valuable and ideas like Uber and Airbnb are driven by intangible ideas and have changed the way we live. But enforcing, protecting and commercialising intellectual property for the average business person or young innovator can be daunting and expensive.

In 2016 the Australian Productivity Commission launched a public enquiry into IP arrangements, identifying that there was an economic need to encourage innovation, investment and production of creative works. The enquiry found that:

- Australia was falling short of international standards

- Some of the ideas and premises operated on were outdated and needed to change

- There was a need to ensure inventors and creators were rewarded for their efforts in order to encourage incentive, investment and to promote economic growth

- Australia’s system worked well in the area of enforcement but accessibility needed to be improved for individuals, small and medium businesses

In 2018, the Federal Circuit Court engaged in a pilot scheme led by Judge Julia Baird to introduce a dedicated Intellectual Property list. This list will increase accessibility to individuals, small and medium sized business of quick, cheap and effective dispute resolution. The fees to file were reduced for an individual from $1390 to $655 and for a corporation from $4045 to $1605, with the aim to list matters before the court within 3 weeks of filing.

With the lowering of the barrier to enforcement it now allows young innovators to enforce a legitimate right at a lower cost and with less risk. The Intellectual property jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court covers copyright, designs, trademarks and plant breeders legislation.

If you would like to speak with an expert and learn more about protecting your intellectual property through copyright, brand protection, trademarking, licensing, assignment or enforcement of your rights, please contact us.

You may also like to email us to see if you are eligible for one of our young innovators workshops.

Kayte LewisManaging DirectorPrincipal Lawyer / Consultant at Voice Lawyers Voice Lawyers assists individuals and businesses in the areas of intellectual property management, entertainment and creative industries.

If you’d like advice or help call us today on (02) 9231 8602 or email to schedule an appointment. Like us on Facebook | Follow Voice Consultants on LinkedIn

Kayte Lewis is a lawyer, mediator and professional development specialist dedicated to helping people ‘find their voice’ through communication.