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Source IP opens up Intellectual Property

Innovation metrics used by Governments and companies are based on counting the number of patents that are lodged every year. Protecting inventions using patents is a matter of course for most large companies and research organisations with the commercial value of the patents adding to the assets of a company. Realising the value of these assets is always a challenge and many companies have tried different ways to open their patents for collaboration with other companies.

Recently, the Australian government launched Source IP – a database which makes it easier for businesses to find intellectual property created by Australian organisations, and directly contact the owners. The aim is to make communication between developers or product designers and owners of IP easier, to foster the furthering and commercialisation of ideas.

Source IP - Easy Access to Public Sector IP

Source IP is a portal that can be used to access a database of intellectual property created by Australian universities and commonwealth organisations. All a developer has to do is search for a licensable patent, find out what is available, and make contact with the owner, which can be done through the site. IP owners are also able to indicate their licensing agreements in layman’s terms, so it’s easy for anybody to understand the conditions of use.

Data from all 40 Australian universities, as well as organisations like the CSIRO and Data61 are included. Medical research institutes also started contributing at the end of last year.

The Benefits of Open Source IP

As product designers, we can see the huge benefits of this kind of a digital marketplace for IP. It opens doors for startup companies to find research and patents that can help them in developing their ideas. It also breaks down barriers for companies wanting to work in areas that may be tied up in licensing.

At the launch, assistant minister for innovation Wyatt Roy said “it directly supports the aim of putting innovation at the heart of our economic agenda.”

IP Australia director of business improvement and innovation Matt Fenech said he hopes it will encourage not just licensing, but communication and collaboration between companies and IP owners. “Go and have a look for technologies that you’re specialists in or are interested in developing further,” he said. “You may not find the exact patent, but you may be able to find expertise in the field and people willing to share what they’ve learned.”

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) bases its approach on the “terrible fact that about 80% of the inventions and intellectual property developed world-wide at universities never finds its way into productive use.”

The UNSW was the first university in Australia and is part of a group of 26 organisations around the world to offer the use of the majority of it’s IP for free. The IP is listed on the UNSW Easy Access IP portal.

Check it out here. http://www.innovations.unsw.edu.au/free-technologies/easy-access-ip

If you’d like to talk to us about how Source IP could help develop your product idea, contact our Melbourne team on (03) 9413 9000, or email Mark at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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The University of NSW have developed a new packaging technology made from the waste of banana trees,  image courtesy UNSW. 

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Another freely available patent, the motion sensor helmet can produce realistic motion sensations such as high G force and weightlessness, image courtesy UNSW.