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The overall story on IP applications in 2016 was mixed, following a year of significant growth in 2015. Overall, demand declined for patents and trade marks, but Australia saw record growth in patent applications from Australian residents, and resident trade mark applications remained high after a record year in 2015. Design rights and plant breeder’s rights both recorded overall growth of three and eight per cent respectively, albeit driven by non-resident filings

This report focuses on the data related to IP, and each IP right administered by IP Australia. We also present the IP research and analysis being undertaken by IP Australia’s Office of the Chief Economist. In particular, this year, we focus on a new look at the data on university industry collaboration. Using IP data we take a fresh look at the collaboration story in Australia and find that in contrast to previous studies, Australia’s performance is reasonably good when compared to other countries. We also highlight some of these collaborative IP applications in the illustrations used throughout this report at the start of each chapter.

The Productivity Commission (PC) inquiry into the IP system stimulated much discussion over the past year on IP policy settings and Chapter 7 focuses on this inquiry. There was also a continued focus on free trade agreements and IP, following the publication of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. International trade is likely to continue to be an important aspect of IP considerations in 2017, and IP Australia will continue to support international IP negotiations and engagement with research, analysis and advice.

IP Australia plays a key role in identifying IP trends and changes in the international and domestic IP landscape, and providing advice to the Australian Government on the development of IP policy. IP Australia administers the system of patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeder’s rights, contributes to international negotiations and cooperation to support the global IP system, and promotes awareness of IP. Copyright is administered separately by the Department of Communications and the Arts, and is therefore not discussed in this report.

In publishing the fifth annual Australian IP Report our aim is to promote awareness of IP rights and discuss the latest IP trends and statistics. As part of the work to better enable evidence-based policy, we are also releasing the latest version of the IP Government Open Data (IPGOD) 2017 with this report, which contains all of IP Australia’s administrative data, linked to business numbers on A live version, updated weekly, is also available on

The Patent Analytics Hub at IP Australia has produced University-Industry Collaboration and Patents as an accompanying paper to the release of the 2017 IP report. This paper compares the level of Australian university–industry collaboration to that internationally using patent data. The publication is accompanied by the dataset behind this paper and of the IP Report section “University-Industry Collaboration, not a crisis”.

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