What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual Property, or IP for short, is the property of your mind, and the ideas that you create. It covers a variety of things, such as new products and processes, the innovative design of a new product, branding and logos, and creations of art, music, film and writing.
Why is IP protection important?
By protecting your Intellectual Property, you are legally claiming ownership of your creations, preventing third parties from using it without your consent. Ultimately, it gives you the ability to establish your presence in the market.
Prior to attaining IP protection, you must be wary of sharing or publicising your creations, so as not to jeopardise your ability to claim them as your own IP. In simple terms, if you have a great idea that has commercial potential, you should put legal ownership and protection in place first, in order to secure your unique selling point.
Your creation however, must be unique, and determining and proving whether it is new or not can take time and effort.
Different IP rights
Depending on the form of IP, you will need to apply for different protection rights, such as the following:
- Trade marks: protect brands and logos (i.e. L’Oreal).
- Patents: protect the invention of a new product or process (i.e. Apple had almost 2,500 patents granted in 2019 alone).
- Designs: protect the appearance of a product (i.e. Coco-Cola’s unique bottle shape).
- Copyright: protects artwork, such as music, film, photography, architecture, and also computer software (i.e. to download a film without paying for proper use is infringement of copyright).
- Trade secrets: protect confidential business information (i.e. the recipe for Coco-Cola).
What should I do if I have created new IP that I want to protect?
- Initially, you need to determine your unique selling point, and what you want to protect. Is it a new logo? Do you have a new product design? Or a new piece of artwork that requires copyright protection?
- Next, determine your market. Is it domestic only, or international?
- Finally, who are your competitors, and what are the factors distinguishing your business from them?
- If you’d like to learn more about Intellectual Property, or you’re not sure what you need to protect or how, then get in touch with us for a free consultation.