The year 2017 was a positive one overall for IP filings in Australia, with growth in applications for patents, trade marks and design rights. Indeed, trade mark applications reached a record peak. Demand grew by two per cent for patents and by seven per cent for both trade marks and designs, but decreased by 11 per cent for plant breeder’s rights. There was strong demand by nonresident applicants for patents in Australia and they represent a significant source of demand for the other IP rights. In contrast to filings from Australian residents, filings from non-residents tend to be more prone to large swings from one year to the next, often producing sizeable changes in the total number of applications. In 2017, growth in trade mark applications was entirely driven by a 25 per cent increase in filings by non-residents, while, for designs, non-resident applications grew by nine per cent.
Each year, this report focuses on the data related to IP rights administration and showcases the research and analysis being undertaken by IP Australia’s Office of the Chief Economist (OCE). In Chapter 6, we present the findings of two related studies examining the impact that collaborative research grants have on patenting activity of funded entities. The analysis finds that an increase in funding by collaborative research grants produces a significantly higher level of patent applications than is achieved by an equal increase in non collaborative grants, and this impact on patent outcomes occurs both in research institutions and in collaborative businesses. Chapter 7 showcases a new database of trade marks with geographical location names. Initiated by the OCE, this newly created database will be useful for research on the geography–IP interface. The data show that the use of geographical location names in trade marks is concentrated in food and beverage industries.