Innovation by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) plays a significant role in the Australian economy. For such companies, it is important that they adequately capture and control the commercial path for each innovation so as to maximise their return on investment in research and development.

Many SMEs recognise that the starting point for capturing value in innovation rests in the various intellectual property (IP) systems – patents for inventions, trade marks for brands and copyright for original works to name a few.

In a bid to provide increased support for SMEs in relation to the various IP systems, IP Australia (the Australian Government agency tasked with administering IP rights and related legislation) has launched a new IP portal for SMEs – IP Australia's SME Portal.

The SME Portal includes a number of useful tools and resources in one convenient location to assist SMEs in navigating the IP process. The available resources include information on the fundamentals of IP (webinars, toolkits, how-to guides, etc) together with details of several programs and services designed to assist SMEs in the process of taking an innovation to market.

We believe the SME Portal will be a valuable resource of general information on IP for SMEs seeking to secure IP rights in Australia. Should you have any specific questions concerning your current IP position, please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Shelston IP ranked one of Australia's leading Intellectual Property firms in 2015.