For reasons not quite clear to me, I found myself reading the IP Australia 2018 report. That’s the governing body for the lodging and managing of patents, in case you were wondering.
They categorise patents into overseas requests (e.g. directional drilling for oil extraction) and domestic (e.g. the rotating clothesline).
The narrative on the page is quite dry, factual and perhaps a little taciturn. For example, this paragraph;
While applications grew overall in 2017, applications for standard patents by Australian residents decreased by about five, per cent from 2620 in 2016 to 2503 in 2017. These figures include those who filed directly with IP Australia and those who entered through the PCT route, together accounting for around nine per cent of total patent applications in Australia. The leading Australian standard patent applicants in 2017 (Figure 3) were Aristocrat Technologies (157 applications), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) (45) and The University of Queensland (18).
No mention of what types of inventions are being patented and for what applications. One wonders why?
Then there’s this breakdown of the top 5 patented applicants;
Two universities, one government department (the science research organisation) and two commercial companies.
Even the least business-savvy can guess what Bluescope Steel do – the clue is in the name.
But what of Aristocrat Technologies Australia? What is the nature of this truly innovative leader of the drive for human development and progress in Australia, what is it they do for a living?
In various countries’ vernacular; slot machines, fruit machines or pokies.
And how’s that going for them?
From the most recent annual report, very fucking well it would seem; a 48% increase in revenue over the year to a total of $3.6bn.
Business is good!
In comparison, here’s the list of overseas applicants;
We all know what Halliburton do,
they get billion dollar contracts without having to tender when their ex-boss invades Iraq they’re and oil and gas services supplier.
Qualcomm and Samsung produce IT hardware, phones, TVs, etc., Novartis design drugs to keeps us healthy, Coviden make surgical equipment.
That’s a bit of an interesting compare and contrast with the company who keeps searching for new ways to lighten the load in the wallets of problem gamblers.
Next time an Australian politician stands up and makes some inspirational speech about innovation and preparing the Australian economy to transition to
the 1990s dot com era benefit from digitisation and the like, remind yourself of which companies are currently innovating most domestically.
Let’s face it, Australia primarily sells dirt to China and houses to each other. Useful innovation? Not so much.
Of course, the final word needs to go to Gilbert Gottfried who received boos from the audience after making a bad taste joke the week after 911 about being worried his plane was scheduled to stop at the Empire State Building. Being a consummate professional, he then proceeded to tell the comedians’ “in-joke” for possibly the first time in public.
Trigger warning; if you’re a sensitive soul, you may wish to put some kale in the microwave and not listen to this.
Ladies and gentlemen; The Aristocrats;