According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (n.d, 1) "intellectual property refers to such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce."

In Australia, the Copyright Act 1968 governs the use of certain forms of intellectual property including:

  • artistic works: paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, architectural models
  • dramatic works: plays, film scripts, choreography
  • literary works: journal articles, computer programs, poems, song lyrics, novels, tables of statistics
  • musical works: compositions, sound recordings
  • television and radio broadcasts
  • motion pictures

Copyright protects the way ideas and information are expressed, not the idea or information itself (Australian Copyright Council, 2005). In Australia, inventions (patents), trademarks, and industrial designs are protected by other areas of law such as the Patents Act 1990 and the Designs Act 2003.

Australian Copyright Council. (2005). Ideas: legal protection. Retrieved February 17, 2006, from

World Intellectual Property Organization. (n.d). About Intellectual Property. Retrieved February 6, 2014, from