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8158.0 - Innovation in Australian Business, 2010-11 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/08/2012   
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Contents >> BUSINESS PRACTICES RELATED TO INNOVATION >> Intellectual Property Protection Methods

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION METHODS

If innovative goods, services and practices are available to competitors, then market advantage can be lost. Formal and informal methods are used to protect the intellectual property of businesses. The Business Characteristics Survey (BCS) collected information from all businesses about the methods that were in use to protect their intellectual property during the year ended 30 June 2011. Businesses were not asked to report the number of times each of the methods was used. The focus in this release is on innovation-active businesses and the types of intellectual property protection methods they reported, however, complete data for all businesses will be released as part of Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2010-11 (cat. no. 8167.0).

INNOVATION-ACTIVE BUSINESSES: Intellectual property protection methods(a)(b), by employment size, 2010 - 11

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Patents
4.5
5.0
8.5
21.0
5.3
Registration of design
5.6
5.7
8.7
19.3
6.1
Copyright or trademark
12.8
15.5
24.2
51.5
15.6
Secrecy/confidentiality agreements(c)
16.3
24.7
28.5
52.8
21.4
Complexity of product design
5.1
6.2
7.3
10.4
5.8
Any intellectual property protection methods used
29.0
36.0
45.5
76.0
34.2
No intellectual property protection methods used
71.0
64.0
54.5
24.0
65.8

(a) Proportions are of innovation-active businesses in each output category.
(b) Businesses could identify more than one type of intellectual property protection method.
(c) Secrecy includes electronic protection methods.


Just over one in three innovation-active businesses reported using some form of intellectual property protection method. Businesses employing 200 or more persons were more than twice as likely to utilise methods to protect intellectual property (76%) than businesses employing 0-4 persons (29%).

Of the 34% of innovation-active businesses who used intellectual property protection methods, the most common form of protection was secrecy/confidentiality agreements (21%), followed by copyright or trademark (16%).

Innovation-active businesses within Agriculture, forestry and fishing and Other services were the least likely to have intellectual protection with 84% reporting no intellectual property protection method used. Conversely, the Information media and telecommunications industry was the most likely to use some form of intellectual property protection method (60%).

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