Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Headquarters: Canberra, Australia

Industry sector: R&D institute

Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) enters into large-scale multi-disciplinary partnerships with universities, research institutions and the private sector to roll out new technologies both at home and internationally. Although a public agency, CSIRO is known for its assertive, commercially driven approach when it comes to intellectual property. In particular, it has the resolve and tenacity to pursue infringers to the bitter end: it made headlines recently by securing a $220 million settlement in the US courts in a protracted patent dispute over wireless LAN technologies dating back to the 1990s. The verdict brought CSIRO worldwide recognition and an overdue financial reward for its groundbreaking work in developing patents that today underpin almost 3 billon WiFi related devices. The institution has now turned its focus to platform technologies with multiple applications – a challenge for the IP department in an organisation that has undergone extensive budget cuts in the past year as the Australian government looks to tighten its purse strings.