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How can you protect your copyright under Australian law?

Is your intellectual property clearly copyrighted?

If you or your business has a good deal of intellectual property under its control – be it writing, artwork, trade secrets or anything else – it's important to protect that property. The last thing you want is for your valuable assets to be taken by someone else without permission or compensation.

For many forms of copyright in Australia, there's no formal registration process.

In Australia, however, this process can be a bit tricky. One problem is that for many forms of copyright, there's no formal registration process. This means it's not always clear to the outside observer which forms of copying are off-limits and which aren't. It also means that when your copyrights are violated, it's a little bit harder to prove.

If you do have a dispute, you'll need to provide clear documentation that proves any and all of your grievances. And in some countries, the law is even stricter – such as in the United States, where copyright registration is required prior to litigation.

How do you prove your case?

It's important for anyone with intellectual property to look after it safely, but that's hard to do because of the peculiar nature of copyright law in Australia. According to the Australian Copyright Council, there is no formal registration process for copyrighting materials in Australia.

That doesn't mean you can't prove your ownership of something. If your company has written or designed a work and it's uniquely yours, the best strategy is to carefully document that process so you have evidence in writing that you can refer back to later.

Providing evidence is always key

There are certain instances, of course, when you actually want to give someone else the rights to your intellectual property. Those cases shouldn't be taken lightly, though. As the per Copyright Act, all assignments and licenses must be in writing; this way, there is nothing unclear that could lead to a dispute later.

Make sure to clearly document any IP permissions you grant.
Make sure to clearly document any IP permissions you grant.

If you have clearly defined parameters for when your consent is and isn't granted, it's easier to police the use of your IP and sniff out suspicious behaviour. To be successful in litigation in Australia, you need to prove that you are the owner of the copyright and have a chain of ownership from the original author in writing. This means you may need to turn to a lawyer for IP services in Sydney and gather all the documentation you need.

Protect your assets – and your future

For just about any business, your intellectual property is one of the most important assets you have. Without your ideas, your company is nothing. That's why it's a worthwhile investment to have copyright lawyers in Sydney who are trained to identify issues and resolve them.

In the long run, we want your business to achieve its goals for commercial success. That requires fighting for the property that's rightfully yours. Contact us at Alder IP if you need any sort of assistance with that.