Unit of competency details

BSBIPR405A - Protect and use intangible assets in small business (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to BSBIPR405 - Protect and use intangible assets in small businessUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages 24/Mar/2015

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 10/Mar/2009


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090999 Law, N.e.c.  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090999 Law, N.e.c.  10/Mar/2009 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to effectively protect and exploit the intellectual property of a small business. It focuses on identifying and valuing intangible assets, implementing measures to protect and commercialise these assets as well avoiding the infringement of others' intellectual property rights.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit applies to individuals who either operate a small business or who are investigating the establishment of a small business. It particularly applies to small businesses that have intangible assets with market value which require protection, and which can be used to improve business performance.

Intangible assets refer to assets which may be protected under a range of intellectual property legislation, including patents, trade marks, designs and copyright, as well as protection under other techniques, such as common or contract law.

This unit encourages small business owners to seek expert advice from intellectual property professionals when required for the protection of intellectual property.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Identify and value intangible assets which are key to the small business

1.1. Identify intangible assets , which are a key to the ongoing success of the small business, through an intellectual property audit 

1.2. Research appropriate sources of information and advice  for protecting and effectively exploiting the small business's intangible assets, and seek professional advice when required

1.3. Value  intangible assets so they can be incorporated into the business plan  and risk assessment strategy

2. Identify and select types of protection available for intangible assets

2.1. Identify the types of protection  for intangible assets, including registered  and unregistered  protection

2.2. Identify relevant legislative requirements  in relation to the proper use and protection of intangible assets

2.3. Calculate the likely costs, risks and benefits of potential types of protection available

2.4. Assess organisational requirements, and balance costs and benefits to select the most appropriate methods to protect and use intangible assets

3. Implement appropriate protection for intangible assets

3.1. Ensure all employees, partners and directors are aware of the importance to the small business of protection of intangible assets

3.2. Implement confidentiality agreements  if appropriate with employees and others who might have access to commercially sensitive information

3.3. Search appropriate databases  and other resources to determine whether the small business's intangible assets are original, to avoid infringement of the intangible assets of others

3.4. Follow procedures to protect intangible assets according to the type of protection required, using appropriate intellectual property professionals

3.5. Develop and implement processes for detecting and defending infringements against the small business's intangible assets

3.6. Monitor the market for possible infringements of protection of intangible assets and take appropriate action if required

4. Develop and implement processes to avoid infringement of the rights of others

4.1. Develop and implement processes so that the small business does not infringe others' intellectual property rights 

4.2. Ensure all employees are aware of and understand the importance of avoiding the infringement of others' intellectual property rights

5. Use and commercialise the small business's and others' intangible assets

5.1. Identify options for exploiting and commercialising  own intangible assets

5.2. Identify intellectual property of others that can legally be used by the small business for business advantage

5.3. Identify taxation, accounting and financial reporting requirements for any gains  made from commercialisation of intangible assets

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • research and analytical skills to investigate and interpret relevant legal requirements in relation to protection of intangible assets
  • numeracy skills to understand the value of intangible assets
  • organisational skills to develop processes to protect, use and exploit intangible assets
  • communication skills to provide information to relevant personnel about intellectual property

Required knowledge 

  • basic knowledge of types of intellectual property and the key characteristics of each
  • the range of intellectual property residing with the organisation
  • basic knowledge of relevant legislative requirements as they apply to the job role

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • identification of issues for the use, management and protection of intangible assets
  • implementation of policies and procedures for the use, management and protection of intangible assets and legitimate use of others' intangible assets in a small business context

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to a small business, either own, other or proposed, for exploration of intangible assets
  • access to relevant documentation, including explanatory materials and guidelines
  • access to appropriate computer resources for establishment and maintenance of policies and procedures

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolio of evidence
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of intellectual property and its implications for the organisation
  • development of action plans for implementation of intellectual property policies and procedures, and commercialisation of intangible assets
  • analysis of case studies around intellectual property issues, with recommendations for action
  • presentation to financial backers or others showing how intangible assets will be protected and commercialised

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • BSBSMB401A Establish legal and risk management requirements of small business
  • BSBSMB403A Market the small business

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Intangible assets  may include:

  • brand
  • business name
  • customer/client list
  • computer systems software
  • confidential information
  • copyrights
  • core technology
  • database
  • design
  • distribution agreements
  • domain name
  • employees' specialist knowledge
  • goodwill
  • ideas
  • innovation
  • invention
  • logo
  • packaging
  • patent
  • practical application of a good idea
  • process
  • product
  • promotional materials
  • secret recipe, process, formula
  • standard of service/unique service technique
  • trade mark
  • trade secret
  • training manuals

Intellectual property audit  refers to:

  • a systematic review of the intellectual property owned, used or acquired by a person or organisation. It includes:
  • identifying products or services that are key to the small business
  • identifying intangible assets and the legal rights in relation to protection of the assets
  • understanding what market advantage these rights give the small business

Sources of information and advice  may include:

  • IP Australia
  • Attorney-General's Department
  • Australian Copyright Council
  • State and Commonwealth government agencies
  • lawyers specialising in intellectual property
  • trade mark attorneys and patent attorneys
  • accountants
  • business advisors
  • marketing consultants
  • branding consultants
  • copyright collecting societies, e.g. CAL, PPCA, MIPI, APRA, AMCOS
  • publications
  • websites, Internet
  • databases e.g. local and international trade mark databases

Value  may include:

  • using processes in accordance with accepted accounting standards and with the assistance of appropriate professionals:
  • calculating how much time would be required to develop these assets from scratch
  • estimating how much a competitor might pay to buy or use these assets
  • estimating how much of the organisation's profit is attributable to the assets

Business plan  may include:

  • executive summary
  • objectives
  • description of the business
  • legal requirements, including intangible assets
  • selling and marketing strategy
  • research and development plan
  • production or operating strategies
  • ownership and management plan
  • funding strategy
  • financial plan
  • strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, including intangible assets

Types of protection  may include:

  • copyright
  • registered patents
  • registered and unregistered trade marks
  • registered company name, business name, domain name
  • registered designs
  • trade secrets
  • sui generis protection (e.g. plant breeders and circuit layouts)
  • moral rights

Registered  protection refers to:

  • protection which occurs through the registration of the particular intangible assets, e.g. trade marks, patents and designs

Unregistered  protection refers to:

  • protection which occurs automatically by law, without the need for registration, e.g., copyright, moral rights and common law trade marks

Legislative requirements  may include:

  • Business Names legislation
  • Copyright Act 1968
  • Designs Act 2003
  • Patents Act 1990
  • Trade Marks Act 1995
  • Trade Practices Act 1974 and State/Territory fair trading legislation

Confidentiality agreements  may refer to:

  • an agreement between a party with confidential information and a party to whom that confidential information will be disclosed (e.g. potential partners and financial backers, employees) outlining conditions of the disclosure and permitted use of the information

Appropriate databases  may include:

  • public registers of registered Australian and international patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeders' rights

  • Note: these may be accessed via IP Australia's website or through use of a commercial search company or patent and trade mark attorney

Others' intellectual property rights  may be infringed through unlicensed use of:

  • brands, logos, packaging, colours
  • domain names, business and company names
  • inventions, innovations, business methods
  • designs
  • content, e.g. photos, text, images
  • software
  • music
  • film
  • technology in new invention

Commercialising  intangible assets may include:

  • franchising
  • licensing
  • selling off business and/or processes, inventions, brands, etc.
  • manufacturing

Gains  may include:

  • proceeds from:
  • sales
  • franchising
  • licensing
  • use of the intellectual property or associated products

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Regulation, Licensing and Risk - Intellectual Property

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units