What is Intellectual Property?
Often abbreviated to IP, Intellectual Property is a term referring to the legal property rights for things that people create or invent.
The legal principle behind IP law is that if the expression of someone’s idea (i.e. a creation of their intellect) has commercial value, then its owner should have exclusive rights to use and benefit from it. These rights, known as intellectual property rights, are often abbreviated to IPR.
Most people are familiar with the main types of protection available for IPR such as patents, trademarks, design rights and copyright. In a nutshell:
- PATENTS protect inventions for new or improved products and processes
- TRADEMARKS protect the brand identity which enables consumers to distinguish the products or services of a particular trader – such as a business name, logo, slogan or corporate colours for example
- DESIGNS protect the visual appearance of a product or its packaging – such as the shape, contours, or pattern applied to it
- COPYRIGHT protects literary and artistic material, music, films, sound recordings and broadcasts, including software and multimedia
Once your Intellectual Property is fully secured with the appropriate protection, it is important that it is managed correctly to ensure you receive the maximum return on your IP for as long as possible.
With LOVEN, you will be provided with a professional consultancy service that will allow you to make the most out of your IP portfolio, and help you manage and resolve any disputes over patents and trademarks.
We can provide you with a full range of services including full advisory, negotiation and drafting services in connection with licensing agreements, assignments and confidentiality agreements.
LOVEN’s top 10 IP tips for beginners
- Never allow your brand name to be used as a verb or a noun
- Always keep & properly maintain laboratory records & experimental notebooks
- If you need to work with someone else to develop a new idea, make sure you have a written agreement between you that covers ownership of rights before you start work
- Don’t rely on registering domain names to protect your brand
- A registered limited company name does not grant trademark protection
- Don’t assume that use of your name will always be a defence to trademark infringement
- IP rights are assets that can be valued and included on a balance sheet
- Using ‘look-a-like’ packaging is likely to infringe trademarks
- Overlap your IP protection to further safeguard your creativity
- Seek professional advice before threatening to bring an action for infringement
Could your business have hidden or potential assets? Let LOVEN help you find out.
Many businesses fail to recognise, and protect, their less obvious IP rights, such as aspects of packaging and corporate colours. Your business has the potential to add value through the proper management of its intellectual property.
For more information on how LOVEN can protect your intellectual property, please visit here to get in contact with our teams.