Intellectual property (IP) can consist of many different aspects. It ranges from logos and corporate identity to products, services and processes that differentiate your business offering.
If you know and understand your IP rights you can ensure you're safeguarding your creativity.
Since 2017, we've been a member of the national network of Patent Libraries (PATLIB). This enables us to offer advice on protecting your IP.
How to protect IP
Patents, trade marks, copyright and registered designs are the four main ways to protect IP.
The government grants a patent for an invention to the inventor. This gives the inventor the right to stop others, for a limited period, from making, using or selling the invention without their permission.
It protects the way something actually works rather than its appearance.
These are badges of origin; they distinguish the goods or services of one trader from another. They can take many forms, such as words, slogans, logos, shapes, colours and sounds.
Copyright usually protects the work created by, or 'originated' with, its author. There must have been some skill, labour or judgment in the creation of the work.
Examples of work protected by copyright include books, paintings and songs.
This protects only the shape or appearance of a product. It gives its owner the exclusive right to the product's design and they can use it to deter others from copying it.
Specially-trained staff from BIPC Norfolk can give you free, confidential one-to-one advice. This is on a range of IP topics up to, but not including, legal advice.
To book a one-to-one, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Eventbrite page.
Online IP advice
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has a wealth of online information to help you protect your IP. IPO is the government body responsible for granting IP rights.
IP for business is a range of online tools from the IPO. They're designed to help you understand, identify, protect and exploit your IP assets to their fullest potential.
They include IP Equip, which consists of four short modules covering the basics of IP.