Grants to reimburse up to 50% of overseas intellectual
property legal and registration fees are now available under the
Applications made after 1 July 09 may claim expenses
from the 08/09 year.
The EMDG scheme is an Australian Government financial assistance
program targeting Australian exporters. The scheme is administered
by Austrade and seeks to encourage small and medium sized
businesses to develop export markets by reimbursing up to 50% of
expenses incurred on a range of export promotion activities.
In 2008, changes were made to the EMDG scheme increasing the
maximum level of reimbursement and making it easier to access. In
addition, the scheme was expanded to include intellectual property
(IP) in the range of claimable expenses.
Australian entities carrying on business in Australia may be
eligible to claim under the EMDG scheme for expenses incurred in
the promotion of products for export if they:
have an annual income of not more than $50 million during
spend at least $10,000 on eligible export promotion activities
during 2007-2009; and
are the principal exporter, rather than the agent, of the
product being promoted.
Nine categories of promotional activities can be claimed. They
include costs associated with:
engagement of marketing consultants for foreign markets;
foreign marketing visits;
promotional literature & advertising including free
trade fairs, seminars, in-store promotions;
overseas buyer visits; and
most recently, registration and/or insurance of
Eligible businesses can now claim up to 50% of Intellectual
Property expenses that were incurred from 1 July 2008 (or, for
first-time applicants, from 1 July 2007).
Intellectual property under the scheme is taken to include not
only patents, designs and trade marks but also plant breeders
rights, circuit layouts, copyright and even trade secrets.
The intellectual property must have resulted, to a substantial
extent, from research or work performed in Australia. And for
rights relating to trade marks, the trade mark must have been first
used in Australia, or increased in significance or value because of
its use in Australia.
What IP expenses can be claimed?
Claimable expenses include:
Payments made to lawyers and patent and trade mark attorneys,
for the purpose of pursuing registration or the extension of the
term of IP rights.
Expenses relating to insurance premiums paid for protection
against possible infringement of eligible intellectual
It should be noted that as with all the other categories of
expenses listed above, all claimable IP payments must be in
relation to increasing export sales of the relevant product or
What IP expenses can't be claimed?
Expenses which cannot be claimed include:
Registering IP rights in Australia, New Zealand, and, as of 15
November 2008, Iran.
Registration of some business, company or domain names.
In-house IP expenses.
Registering IP rights not owned or held on exclusive assignment
by the applicant or its related entities.
Costs associated with defending patent and other intellectual
property infringement, including any preliminary litigation
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.
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