Intellectual Property Basics

    IP Basics, Patents, Trademarks & Copyright

    Intellectual property (IP), probably the most familiar term, is a subset of your intellectual assets. In the UK IP falls into four categories: patents, trade marks, registered designs and copyright. The first three types need to be formally registered in order to be fully effective, while copyright is automatic. Read the full article here

    What are Patents?

    A patent is a type of Intellectual Property (IP). In the UK IP can fall into any of the following categories: patents, copyright, trademarks and registered designs. A patent provides exclusive rights to an individual for a certain period of time; however they have to then publicly disclose this information about the time period is up. This therefore can have several advantages and disadvantages for patenting an idea or invention. Ultimately, utilising your intellectual property which may include patents can be used as an extra source of revenue which can be seen from the recent deal between Tech Giants AOL and Microsoft.

    What are Trademarks? 

    Trademarks are better known as your brand. It is mainly what distinguishes you from your competitors and can be a good source of adding value to your products or services. Your brand image is crucial for the success of your organisation because this is the first thing that the general public associate with your company. Examples of companies that have strong brand images are Apple, Microsoft and BMW to name just a few. Your trade mark can be a combination of words, logos and images. It is important to register your trademark; you can do this by applying to the Intellectual Property Office.

    What is Copyright? 

    Copyright is commonly recognised by its famous logo and brand image ©. Copyright is a legal concept which provides the creator of the work with private rights to use it. This enables the individual the right to copy and be credited for any work that is a result of his creations related to this Copyrighted product. This is also useful for when determining who can adapt and use the work for their own benefit.

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