Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) can be defined as a creation of the mind that may be legally protected and may be considered a valuable intangible asset. Patented innovations, trademarks, registered designs and copyright are examples of IP assets protected through intellectual property rights.

Intellectual property rights are a legal monopoly and can be dealt with just like chattels or real property. You can sell it (“assign”), license it (rent it out), leave it in your will, exclude others from it, share ownership, put it on the balance sheet or sell as a business asset (intangibles). Intellectual property protection is the fence that will keep others out of your area of business activity and if they trespass they can be punished. Many companies will not license an innovation or manufacture a product that does not offer them some kind of exclusivity. Material transfer agreements and confidentiality agreements are used by QUT and bluebox to preserve intellectual property rights.

bluebox has an Intellectual Property Review Committee (IPRC) that makes recommendations to the bluebox team regarding whether to proceed with protecting QUT Intellectual Property. The IPRC reviews the strategic direction, commercial potential and key scientific basis behind the innovations before making their recommendation. Prior to the IPRC meeting the bluebox project manager will consult with QUT researchers and develop a submission to aid in the IPRC decision making. The IPRC review the submissions and make recommendations at each of the following decision making points:

    • file new Provisional patent applications
    • proceed to PCT applications
    • proceed to national phase entry in single or multi-country filings
    • adopt a commercial plan/pathway relating to non-patentable inventions
    • register a trademark or design

Patents - products, processes, compositions, business methodsPatents - products, processes, compositions, business methods

Patents may be granted over novel, useful and non-obvious innovations by the government’s patent office. A patent granted in Australia is only effective in Australia. A patent is a legal contract between the government and the owner that provides “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in Australia or “importing” the invention into Australia.

bluebox takes a strategic approach to filing patent applications, firstly taking into account the commercial potential and market need for an innovation and secondly the patentability. During the bluebox process together with the QUT innovator we will conduct due diligence to assist in determining the innovations commercial potential, which may include preliminary discussions with corporate representatives often under confidentiality.

Additionally during Intellectual Property due diligence we may engage an external Patent and Trademark Attorney when required to perform Prior Art Searches and Patentability Opinions, Contributor and Inventorship Determination, and Freedom-to-Operate Opinions.

For more information on patent protection please go to the FAQ section.



A trade mark is used to distinguish the unique product or service of one trader from another, which is enforceable under IP law and can be a valuable marketing tool. A trade mark can be a distinctive letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, aspect of packaging or any combination of these.

You do not need to register your trade mark to use it, the symbol TM can be used with a trade mark at any time. However registration can give you a stronger Intellectual Property position which can be sold, and allows you to stop other people from using your trade mark on the same or similar goods or services. Please contact bluebox to discuss your innovation and determine if a trademark is a suitable protection strategy.



Automatic international protection for certain original works for the life of the author plus 50 years, no need to register (however there are exceptions. The “works” can include literary, artistic, musical, sound recordings, dramatic, broadcasts. A copyright owner has the exclusive right to copy, reproduce, distribute, display, perform, and create derivative works, and the right to license some or all of those rights to others.


More Information on Intellectual Property Protection

The information on this page is only high-level and should not be considered to be comprehensive. Please go to IP Australia for more information on Patents, Trademarks, Copyright, Registered Design, Plant Breeders Rights, Circuit Layout rights and Know-how/trade secrets or contact the bluebox team for further information.


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