In our experience, intellectual property (IP) has moved from a peripheral issue to a core capability for our government clients. All but a few government transactions involve at least some negotiation of IP rights. Our national IP team works together seamlessly to ensure that our clients receive the right advice from the right lawyers, with the specialist knowledge at the right time.
We have a strong public sector track record, having advised a large number of government departments (both at the state and federal level), statutory authorities and other public sector organisations on a broad range of IP matters for more than 20 years. We understand the particular policy drivers and requirements that underpin the protection, management, commercialisation and enforcement of public sector IP. This brings deep, extensive knowledge of the regulatory framework and context in which government operates to our work.
We know that government agencies must manage particular risks when dealing with IP over and above the usual commercial issues that might arise with corporate clients. For example: the implementation of public policy through the development of legislation (acquisition of IP as property), the implementation of new programs (application of Crown rights (patents and copyright), branding issues, tensions between confidentiality obligations and governments' preference for transparency), data acquisition, management and dissemination necessary to support policy development or innovation in new policy areas (copyright and patent implications of software development, research and development involving IP ownership, licensing and commercialisation).
Government agencies are expected to manage IP issues in accordance with relevant IP policies and frameworks such as the Australian Government's statement of IP Principles and the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.
Our intellectual property lawyers regularly advise government agencies in all jurisdictions on a wide range IP related matters including complex materiel procurement, IT procurement and development, data management, research, commercialisation, funding arrangements, consultancies and general contracting.
Our approach with government clients is to focus on a risk analysis in the context of our clients' objectives. We work with clients to identify IP related risks, assess the significance of those risk and develop options to manage those risks.