Commercialising intellectual property

The commercialisation of intellectual property was the topic of conversation at a recent symposium held by the Department of Management and MIGR.

One of a series of four seminars on the topic, the symposium provided an interactive forum addressing the protection rights afforded to intellectual effort covered by copyright, design, patent, circuits, plants, trade secrets/mark and business reputation. 

The focus of this seminar was 'Dialogue between practitioners, focusing on the need, sources, application and protection of intellectual property'.

Four expert industry speakers explored a variety of business contexts and entertained a discussion about the knowledge and skill required by innovators for the management of intellectual property in a new division, a spin-off, or a tertiary institution.             

Maria Harrison-Smith, a patent and trade mark attorney and Intellectual Property Manager at Monash said: "IP is granted for inventions not discoveries. A patent must be novel, inventive and useful."

Also contributing to the discussion was Ian Cooke, CEO, Mental Health CRC and founding CEO of CNSBio, who defined intellectual property as "the property upon which you build your landscape". He went on to speak about how to map and navigate the complex IP landscape.

The discussion highlighted the insight that innovators need in order to understand the real intellectual property value they are creating, so that they can provide stakeholders with a clear statement of actual and intended risk and reward. 

The next event in the series is 'Commercialisation of Ideas – Do We Need Entrepreneurs?'. It will be held on from 2pm to 5pm on Wednesday 3 September in building 12/S7 at the Clayton campus. Staff and postgraduate students can make bookings by emailing

This article has appeared in Monash News.