Intellectual property

Identifying and assessing opportunities

If you have made a potentially patentable discovery or created other intellectual property that you want to protect, you should contact the La Trobe University Commercialisation Unit to arrange an assessment:

Ph: (03) 9479 1681

A case manager and review panel will assess the reported invention. They address issues such as inventorship, third party interests and disclosures, as well as prior art and commercial potential.

The case managers will also do preliminary searches of published patents and market information. If there is a clear commercial opportunity the case manager will work with you to define R&D objectives and a commercialisation plan.

Protecting your intellectual property

Once we have assessed your discovery, we will instruct patent attorneys to review invention reports and advise on patentability. If your discovery is patentable, we will arrange for a patent application to be filed (usually an Australian Provisional Patent Application), and support the cost of patenting for the first 12 months. Further patent support will depend on identifying a partner or licensee.

If we decide not to proceed with a patent, you will be offered the invention and the right to proceed with the application personally.


We will support you with identifying potential licensees or partners and negotiate a commercialisation agreement with the help of La Trobe's Legal Services office.

Forms and guidelines

External resources for searching patent databases

Researchers may wish to keep their own watch on patents in their field, especially where inventions may potentially arise from their research or where funding bodies require researchers to demonstrate an awareness of the commercial landscape for their work.

Note: these searches will only produce results for published patent applications. Patents are not published until 18 months from first application.