When ensuring your business is protected, you must ensure you are looking at the right type of intellectual property for you.
There are different types of intellectual property which allow you to protect different areas of your business.
We have produced a rundown to allow you to ensure you are picking the perfect protection for you:
1. Trade marks
The most widely recognised type of IP, trade marks allow you to protect your brand. A brand name, logo, slogan or product name can be protected by registering a trade mark application. A successful trade mark registration allows you to prevent any other person from using an identical or similar name in respect of identical or similar goods and services. A trade mark must be registered in the country you wish to gain protection. Building a trade mark portfolio by registering all aspects of your brand in the countries in which you trade is a good way to ensure your brand and reputation is protected.
Another type of IP that many people would have heard of but may not be sure of exactly what it protected. In short, copyright protects the expression of an idea in the form of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work. Copyright is an automatic right and therefore does not need to be registered. As part of the process of enforcing copyright, it is important that you can prove you are the legal owner of the work and therefore have grounds to prevent someone else from copying your work. To breach a person’s copyright protection, a substantial part of the work must be copied, in terms of quality not quantity. While the right itself is automatic, there is steps you can take to secure your copyright protection, including attaching a copyright notice to your work.
A patent right is another right that requires registration. A patent protects an invention or process which is novel and an innovative step above anything else. It is important any patent application is new and has not been done before. An important note to make before making a patent application is the work must not have entered the public domain before the application has been filed otherwise it will not be deemed as new. A patent application can be a lengthy and complicated process, with a bit of back and forth, therefore it is important that you get the experts on board to make the application as accurate as possible.
With designs, there is two routes you have to you. There are unregistered (automatic) design rights and registered design rights, covering different elements. An unregistered design rights protects the shape or configuration of a design for a 10 year period. This right allows the owner to prevent another from copying. Again with copyright above, ownership needs to be confirmed before the right can be enforced. On the flip side, a registered design right covers much more in that it can protect the surface pattern, shape, colour, lines and orientation of a design, as well as the appearance as a whole. Both rights require the design to be original , with a registered design right going further, preventing a design from being in the public domain for longer than 12 months.
These types of IP can be filed in most countries around the world, some with slightly different forms. What is important is that you have protected your business and your work, ensuring that your hard work can not be affected.
If you have any questions or you would like the experts to take the pressure of your hands with any application, contact Lawdit’s IP team today.