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Small businesses now have a new tool to help them manage their patents, trade marks and other valuable intellectual property (IP) assets.

Intellectual Property Explorer is an online tool that will help small businesses profit from their hard work and ingenuity by identifying and analysing different forms of IP relating to inventions, designs and brands.

“Many businesses are surprised at how many IP assets they have and how valuable they are,” Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry, Richard Marles said.

“Each day, businesses sell goods or services, but over time they are building up goodwill, brand recognition and a reputation based on a standard of service or quality of their product.

“That's why it is crucial these intangible assets are identified and protected.

“Reviewing IP assets is particularly important when buying or selling a business, seeking investors, or looking to export.”

The free tool:

  • introduces IP concepts in plain English
  • provides a step by step guide to reviewing IP assets including copyright, patents, trade marks and designs.
  • gives practical advice on how to avoid commercial risks, which could result in costly legal proceedings with employees or third parties.

Intellectual Property Explorer was developed by IP Australia, the Australian Government agency responsible for administering the IP rights system, in cooperation with the governments of Hong Kong, China and Singapore, as an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) project.

Australia plays an active role in APEC’s Intellectual Property Experts Group (IPEG) which initiated the tool as part of its work program to help small businesses build their capacity to engage in international trade.

To learn more about the tool visit

Media contacts:   Pauline Braniff, Mr Marles' Office, 0419 664 016
                            Peter Willimott, IP Australia, 0410 698 391