Australian Intellectual Property Report 2024 is out now

New IP Report reveals economic bright spot for Australia as domestic IP filings increase.

The Australian IP Report 2024, released today, suggests Australian firms were resilient to global economic headwinds last year in generating new intellectual property (IP). 

Domestic IP filings increased across all registered rights in 2023. This includes trade marks which are registered when businesses introduce new products and services, and design rights and patents, which reflect scientific and technological progress in the economy.   

Trade mark applications by Australians grew by 9.8%, near the record levels seen in 2020 and 2021.

Overall trade mark applications grew by 7.2%, to 84,476 in total.  Overall filings for design rights rose by 11.5%, to a record level of 8,776.

The strongest growth among Australian’s applicants was in energy equipment such as electric motors, generators, batteries and solar panels.  

Domestic patent filings grew by 2.4%, while overall filings for patents fell slightly, due largely to a reduced number from the United States.  

“The positive growth in domestic IP filings suggests Australia’s innovation sector has continued to invest in new IP, despite inflation and interest rate pressures,” IP Australia Director General, Michael Schwager said.  

The 12th annual IP Report also highlights Australia’s emergence as a key destination market for clean energy technology. Among 19 major economies, Australia is the second fastest growing destination for patents within this field.  

Design filings from China for energy equipment doubled in 2023. Semiconductors, an essential component of digital devices, are also the focus of sustained growth in new patents from Chinese and Australian innovators. 

Using big data, the report explores the ways in which new ideas are developed and brought to market in Australia. 

”Our research highlights the increasing contribution of SMEs to innovation in Australia, and the need for strong collaboration and knowledge exchange between universities, established businesses and startups,” Michael Schwager said. 

The report also details how hiring recent PhD graduates underpin patenting activity by Australian startups, while IP rights continue to be an important driver of business growth, particularly for SMEs. In the past two decades, the number of Australian SMEs that hold patents has increased at 5 times the rate of SMEs in the economy. Australian SMEs are also 16% more likely to experience high employment growth after filing for an IP right, compared to their peers without recent filings.

Key insights:

  • Australians continue to innovate, with increased domestic intellectual property filings. 
  • Australia identified as the second fastest growing destination for new clean energy patents.
  • The contribution of small and medium businesses is increasing in Australia, and ties to the research sector are linked to greater patent performance by Australian startups. 

 Read the full report

For further information or to arrange an interview with Chief Economist Michael Falk, please contact IP Australia’s media unit at