Intellectual property plays a key role in 21st century businesses.

For your company’s future success, it is important to understand what intellectual property is in order to avoid some of the pitfalls it presents and make the most of the advantages it can bring.

In this section we set out what intellectual property is and why it matters.

Someone’s copied my work, what can I do?

‘Help! Someone’s stolen my work. I don’t have any registered intellectual property (IP) rights for it. Is there anything I can do?’ Well, there might be. Whether it is a photo, music, film, code or any other new creative work you’ve been working on, you may have copyright in your work, without even realising it. If […]

What should I consider when talking to others before protecting my intellectual property?

So you’ve got a great new product and now you want to move to the next stage. Whether your product involves a great new brand name, a technical innovation or a brilliant new design, moving to the next stage inevitably involves bringing in outside help or talking to people outside your organisation. This may be […]

What’s copyright?

Probably the best known unregistered intellectual property (IP) right, copyright generally exists in original creative ‘works’ such as books, music and photographs. However, it is worth remembering that copyright also exists in commercial documents. From website content to sales brochures to software code, copyright can provide commercially relevant protection for any business. The great thing […]

Do I have any intellectual property protection for my software?

As soon as you put finger to keypad and develop your code you have some intellectual property (IP)protection for your software in the form of copyright. Copyright protects your artistic side Traditionally, copyright is seen as something that protects artistic works like the text of a novel, a director’s new film, or a band’s new […]

Someone’s stolen my idea, what can I do?

‘Help! Someone’s stolen my idea. I don’t have any registered rights for it. Is there anything I can do?’ Well, there might be. Breach of confidence In some circumstances, you may be able to rely on what’s referred to as ‘breach of confidence’. Whilst the various requirements for taking steps against someone who has breached […]

Should I worry about competitors’ intellectual property?

There are two categories of intellectual property (IP) rights: yours and everyone else’s. Both need to be taken seriously. We are now going to concentrate on the latter: IP rights owned by people external to your business, for example a competitor. These might be referred to as third party IP rights. Why should you care about […]

How do I inform others about my intellectual property?

If you’ve worked hard to obtain one or more intellectual property (IP) rights, it’s in your best interest to make these rights known to others. One way to do this is “marking”. For example, by identifying something as a registered trade mark, or identifying a patent number on a patented product. Marking is useful in that […]

Who owns an intellectual property right?

It’s often said that 80% of the value of businesses lies in their intellectual property (IP). So, put simply, if you don’t get the ownership of IP clear at or before the point of creation, then you risk losing the money and time you have invested in it. Not owning any one IP right could […]

How do I ensure my company protects its intellectual property?

Developing new products, ironing out bugs and flaws in your existing systems in a non-obvious way, or designing a particularly stylish clothing range may all give rise to intellectual property (IP) rights. An IP capture process will help to ensure your company is able to identify potential IP rights as they are created, and will […]

Do I have any intellectual property?

If you’re a designer, a software developer or are using a name to sell your goods or services, you probably already have some protection for your intellectual property (IP) without realising. There are three main types of IP rights that exist automatically, without you having to do anything but create something. These are copyright, unregistered […]

Why should I care about intellectual property?

Put simply, because it can bring huge value to you and your business. Boost the value of your business When Google bought Motorola for $12.5 billion in 2012 the value of Motorola was 63% higher than its previous closing price. Why? Motorola’s nearly 25,000 patents and patent applications were of such a high value to […]

What is intellectual property (IP)?

You’ve heard that every successful company has it and even some successful people have it and use it for their benefit. But what is intellectual property (IP), why would you want it, and how do you get it? Let’s explain. While property such as your house, car or phone, are physical tangible assets, IP is […]

I’m starting a new business, what do I need to know about intellectual property?

According to The Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve 75% of business value lies within intangible assets . So whether you’re creating the latest gastro pub, a slick new fashion label, the next blockbuster novel, a new smartphone app, or a product providing huge advancement in technology, you need to understand intellectual property (IP), the […]