Study into the experience of Australian firms enforcing their intellectual property rights in Asia

This study and report was conducted by the Export Council of Australia (ECA) on behalf of IP Australia and the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER). Using surveys and case studies this report seeks to understand how Australian businesses protect their IP rights when exporting into China and ASEAN markets as well as the challenges they face in doing so.

The findings from this report generated many interesting discoveries. The first was that China is perceived as the most common jurisdiction for IP infringement prompting expansion and interest for SMEs expanding into ASEAN markets.

Second, being proactive in one’s IP regime significantly reduced the onset of IP breaches, including through traditional IP registration routes but also considering other innovative commercial strategies.

Three, SMEs due to their smallness, lack the necessary resources to effectively manage their IP protection regimes, be that time and/or money. It is therefore essential to consider effective outreach for SMEs to make it easier for them.

Four, IP Australia’s website is the most popular source of IP related information from the sample.

The report concludes that IP protection should have greater prominence in a firm’s business plan, especially when exporting to China and ASEAN. Furthermore, greater information is required by SME’s along the business lifecycle from the pre-IP registration stages and through ex-post, for maintenance and monitoring.

On the basis of the above, four recommendations were provided by the ECA:
  • Embedding IP protection early, as part of the commercialization strategy
  • Assisting exporters to understand the role of partners in IP protection
  • Creating an IP network with likeminded organisation
  • Informative and Interactive IP information
These four recommendations provide practical guidance to remedy the issues uncovered from the research. Taken together, these proposals would seek to elevate the prominence of IP protection in the pre-planning stage for Australian exporters.


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Ed Serrano
Managing Director,
VEKTA Advanced Automation
Member of the ECA

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