17 April 2008

World Intellectual Property Day

It pleases me to see that Australia is promoting World IP Day on 26 April 2008. Here is Senator Carr's media release.

I particularly liked this statement: "IP can develop into a significant business asset which often is worth more to a business than all the tangible assets such as factories and machinery combined." But it's a concern to me that such a small proportion of Australian patent applications are actually owned by Australians. In fact, in 2006, only 15% of Australian patent applications were filed by locals.

We regularly hear how manufacturing companies in Australia are taking their operations offshore. At least the clever people are staying here. But if this carries on, we'll only have our minerals to sell. I hope that the Minister's message reaches all those clever business leaders out there.

As Senator Carr says:

"On this day when IP and innovation is being celebrated across the world, let’s be proud of what Australia has contributed to the global pool of innovation, but let’s also look forward.

"I urge all Australians to think about this country and how we can do things better via innovation – remember, every new product started as someone’s good idea."

I would add to this by saying that registered IP, such as patents are an effective way of securing our future, regardless of the demand for our mineral wealth. With the statistics on International Patent Applications described in my post of 15 February 2008, we could find that future vulnerable.

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