Intellectual property

Intellectual property

Intellectual property

Intellectual Property are rights in relation to inventions including: 

  • patents
  • trade marks
  • registered designs 
  • copyright
  • confidential information
  • know-how

Intellectual Property Commercialisation Advisory Committee (IPCAC)

The Committee meets monthly to make decisions on innovations received by the Office of Commercialisation and Innovation (OCI). 

Every matter is assessed case-by-case. Innovators have an opportunity to present to the Committee and will receive valuable feedback and exposure of their research. 

If supported by the Committee, the most likely outcome is a licence to an existing organisation or the creation of a new start-up company. In addition for most cases, future research contracts will occur.

Macquarie University's Intellectual Property Policy provides further details.


The two main tests applied by patent offices when deciding whether a patent will be awarded are novelty and inventive step. 

  • 'Novelty' essentially means that the idea has not been known outside the inventor's institution prior to filing a patent application. 
  • 'Inventive step' means that an invention should be not obvious to another researcher with the same skills. 

If you are considering commercialising your idea, talk to the Office of Commercialisation and Innovation early so we can advise you on patenting before you publish your ideas. Our Office is responsible for lodging the patent application and will manage the patent process efficiently and accurately.

Don't forget you can use the Derwent Innovation database, now available via the Library (MultiSearch/Databases) to run a search. We recommend using a Patent Search and then selecting Title/Abstact/Claims to search for key words. Contact our office if you have any questions.


Copyright is legal protection of creative works. Australian copyright law is contained in the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). 

Copyright owners can legally prevent others from copying and using their material. This includes publishing, performing or reproducing the material. It does include ideas, concepts, styles or techniques.

The Office of Commercialisation and Innovation (OCI) has secured many commercial deals of copyright and know-how. i.e. software code, surveys and data.  Please also seek advice from the library regarding copyright law and your research.

Trade marks

A trade mark can be a letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, piece of packaging, or any combination of these that is legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product. Having a registered trade mark provides an extra level of protection against misrepresentation under trade practices or fair trading legislation.

If you would like our assistance in applying for a trade mark, you must complete our Trade Mark Questionnaire and forward it to

Trade marks must be supported by Group Marketing to ensure it does not go against our brand, marketing strategy or style guide.

Laboratory books

We encourage the use of laboratory books to record your research and protect your intellectual property. We can supply you with a laboratory book – simply contact us on 9850 4598 or

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