China leads Australia on intellectual property rights, says the Licensing Executives Society of Australia and New Zealand (LESANZ), which believes that China's development and implementation of a national IP strategy will support local innovation, a commitment absent in Australia. Following a presentation by Dr Zhang Qin, vice president of the Chinese Intellectual Property Research Board, who highlighted China's commitment to IP expressly to increase global competitiveness in the innovation marketplace, LESANZ representative Philip Heuzenroeder said it was clear China was ahead of Australia in this regard. "People must understand that innovation won’t succeed, particularly in a global context, if it is not based on IP rights," said Heuzenroeder. "As a nation, we currently have a very ad-hoc approach to the protection of IP... there is still little recognition of the importance of a single centralised national strategy that would encourage the understanding and use of appropriate IP protection as an essential part of sustainable investment in innovation." He added that an IP strategy would raise the profile and understanding of IP, lead to more effective use of IP and encourage international competitiveness for Australian businesses. Heuzenroeder also said China's strategy was a wake up call for IP worldwide, particularly as China has not traditionally valued the commercialisation of IP. It marked the beginning of an era of knowledge-based resources, he said.