Intellectual property is a form of intangible property right created by a person through their mind. An invention is a comparative example.
Intellectual Property Team
In Australia we recognise various types of intellectual property rights, namely:
(a) copyright; (b) patents; (c) registered designs; (d) trade marks; (e) circuit layout designs; (f) plant breeder's rights;
plus rights in connection with confidential information, trade secrets and domain names.
Some intellectual property rights do not require any formal registration to protect those rights. For example, copyright protection is conferred automatically upon creation of the work. However, other intellectual property rights, such as patents and trade marks, do require formal registration in order to properly protect them. Without registration, reference would need to be made to the common law to determine a person's rights.
Protection of intellectual property rights overseas is also available due to international treaties to which Australia is a signatory. However, separate registration processes within a particular country must still be complied with.