Automatic IP Rights

Some rights don't need formal registration as they are automatically assigned to you when you create your intellectual property (IP). You don't need to formally register IP that falls under copyright and circuit layout rights.  


The livelihood of your business can rest on the ability to stop others from copying your creations.

Copyright protects the expression of ideas and information in certain forms including writing, music, visual images, broadcasts, sound recording, moving images and computer programs. Copyright protection is provided under the Copyright Act 1968 and is designed to prevent the unauthorised use by others of a work that is in its original form.

Do I have copyright protection?

Though copyright protection is free and automatic, consider placing a copyright notice in a prominent place on your work. Although it's not necessary in Australia, it can act as a reminder to others. It can also be required to establish copyright in some countries.

Circuit layout rights

For businesses creating unique and highly complex integrated circuits or computer chips, a lot of value can be created from selling layouts to others. It's therefore important to understand how your creation is protected from being copied.

Circuit layout rights automatically protect original layout designs for integrated circuits and computer chips under the Circuit Layouts Act 1989. Rights do not have to be registered or granted.

The owner of an original circuit layout has exclusive right to:

  • copy the layout in a material form
  • make integrated circuits from the layout, and
  • exploit it commercially in Australia.

The Attorney-General's Department administers the legislation for automatic rights to circuit layout rights.

What to do...

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