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IP Glossary

To navigate the intricacies of IP, here is a glossary of the most commonly used terms relating to IP.





(Patent) The part of the patent (application) that consists of a concise summary of the disclosure as contained in the description, the claims, and any drawings. It provides technical information only and cannot be taken into account for determining the scope of protection.

Annuity / renewal payment

(IP Service Provider Service) Service for tracking of deadlines and completion of regular payments on behalf of the customer.


Natural person or legal entity seeking for IP protection by submitting an application to the respective IP office.


Request for IP protection usually filed with the IP office.


Arbitration is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that enables disputes to be resolved outside the courts.


Boolean search

Search method that is conducted by using Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to create a logical relationship between the used criteria 



(Patent) The claims define the matter for which protection is sought. They must be clear and concise and fully supported by the description. A patent (application) must have at least one claim.

Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC)

Extension of the IPC in nine sections, A-H and Y, which in turn are sub-divided into classes, sub-classes, groups, and sub-groups. There are approximately 250 000 classification entries to select from.


Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture and films to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical drawings. Copyright protection is obtained automatically without the need for registration or other formalities. Many countries, also UAE, nonetheless have a system in place to allow for the voluntary registration of intellectual works.

Country code

Uniquely identify the origin of an IP document and find out exactly which IP office issued it. The codes consist of two letters, all outlined in a WIPO Standard. The country code for the United Arab Emirates is AE.



Despite the best of efforts, intellectual property disputes unfortunately can and do arise. Such disputes can include third parties alleging that you have infringed their IP rights. Such a case can potentially result in legal proceedings, demands to cease using the IP asset and/or compensation payments. Seeking for expert advice in business-relevant cases might be recommended.


(Patent) Part of a patent (application) which discloses the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for the invention to be carried out by a person skilled in the art.



If you become aware that a third party limits your business’ success because they infringe your IP rights, you may consider enforcing your IP right


The study of an IP application by an IP office examiner to determine whether or not an idea can be registered and whether the application complies with all the legal requirements.


Industrial design

An industrial design is an Intellectual Property Right aimed at protecting the appearance of products, in particular resulting from its lines, contours, colors, shape, and materials.

Industrial property

Types of intellectual property that have an industrial application, such as patents, utility certificates, and industrial designs.


Violation of an exclusive intellectual property right. Infringement includes making, using, or selling a protected product or process without the permission of the IP right owner.

Intellectual Property (IP)

Intellectual Property (IP) refers to intangible assets, “creations of the human intellect,” to be precise. Unlike tangible assets, which are physical (think of brick-and mortar building, machinery, and inventory, for instance), IP protects your ideas, inventions and more generally, your innovation.

International Patent Classification (IPC)

Hierarchical system of language independent symbols for the classification of patents and utility models according to the different areas of technology to which they pertain


New product, process or apparatus or any new use thereof

IP Commercialization

Commercialization of intellectual property is making money out of one’s ideas

IP funding

Helping the customer to get support in financing their IP related activities

IP licensing

(IP Service Provider Service) Providing advice and consultation to get fair, concise, and complete licensing agreements. The services can cover approaching, communicating, interacting, facilitating negotiations with the parties involved.

IP maintenance - payment

For almost all kinds of IP rights periodical fees have to be paid to the IP offices where the IP right is registered.

IP search

(IP Service Provider Service) Performing professional searches in public or commercial databases for intellectual property rights, delivering the results and if requested, interpret them to answer the customer’s question.

IP strategy advice

(IP Service Provider Service) Defining, guiding, and advising the customers towards the best strategic decisions regarding their IP; ideally reflecting how IP impacts the corporate strategy.

IP training

Training and education on IP related topics; not limited to a specific form and way of delivery.

IP valuation

Determining the value of a particular IP asset or an IP portfolio. IP valuation gives you an idea of the monetary value of the IP.



The national or global territory within which a legal body e.g., Government, Intellectual Property Office, Court may properly exercise its power.



Party which is entitled to exploit the IP owner’s IP rights for a specific purpose and under specific conditions and duration, in return for a payment.

Licensing agreement

Agreement by which the owner of IP assets allows one or several third party(ies) to use or exploits the IPR for a specific purpose and under specific conditions and duration, in return for a payment. 


IP owner which is letting a third party exploit its IP.


Litigation refers to the formal legal process of presenting a case before the courts – it is the traditional form of resolving a dispute.

(IP Service Provider Service) Support the customer in process by which two or more parties turn to the judicial authority for the purpose of resolving an Intellectual Property dispute such as infringement of an IP right by counterfeiting or piracy, or non-payment of a fee in case of a license.

Lump sum

Financial compensation paid by the licensee in return of the rights granted by the license agreement. It usually takes the form of a fixed amount determined upfront, which can be one-time payment or instalments.



(IP Service Provider Service) Support the customer in IP right matters e.g., contracts, arbitration, agreement alignments, etc. with professional insights, advice and representing the customer’s interests.



The administrative proceeding pre- or post-grant by which a third party can challenge the validity of a patent or a trademark.



A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention (usually for a maximum of 20 years), which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. Technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application to obtain a patent.

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

International treaty under which a single international patent application can be filed for patent protection in up to 144 countries. Application phase only, not an international patent.

Patent drafting

(IP Service Provider Service) Professional writing of patent application documents, defining the scope of protection and building patent claims in a strategically effective way.

Patent family

Set of interrelated patent applications filed in one or more countries to protect the same or a similar invention by a common inventor and linked by a common priority (or priorities).

Patent filing and / or prosecution

(IP Service Provider Service) The process of submitting the application to the competent patent office / authority and coordinating between the customer and patent office / authority in order to get the requested patent granted.

Prior art

Prior art is, in general, all the knowledge that was made available to the public anywhere in the world prior to the relevant filing or priority date of a patent application. See also state of the art.


Right to file subsequent applications for the same invention at other offices. Valid for a certain period of time (usually 12 months) from the date of first filing of a patent application. The first filing date is known as the priority date.


(Patent) 18 months after filing, a patent application is usually published – it is now publicly available for everyone to see. Exception: Under the current system, only granted patents are published in the UAE.


Representation in court

(IP Service Provider Service) Representing the interest of the customer in front of the ordinary courts. Some proceedings e.g., infringement cases take place at ordinary courts and not at IP offices. In most countries a national qualification and license of lawyers is required.

Representation in front of IP office

(IP Service Provider Service) Representing the interest of the customer in front of the IP office. Qualification of the agent for representation in front of IP office / authority is required.

Royalty fee

Periodic fee paid by a licensee for the utilization of the licensed IPR, based on pre-defined criteria e.g., fee per product sold under the license, or percentage on the sales, revenues resulting from licensee, etc.


Semantic search

Search method that builds on the meaning in language or logic of the used terms.

State of the art

Existing technological information which is used to determine if an invention is novel and involves an inventive step. Includes documentary sources such as patents and publications, and non-documentary sources such as things known or used publicly. See also prior art.


Trade secret

Trade secrets are Intellectual Property rights on confidential information. Trade secrets protect undisclosed know-how and valuable business information against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure. The commercial and economic value of trade secrets results from its secrecy.


A trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of a company from those of other companies. Trademarks are registered with the relevant IP office, and once approved, they are yours to use and defend against say copycats.

Trademark Classification (Nice)

Alphabetical list of goods and services: 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services

Trademark design

The process of drafting, sketching, and designing of a mark.

Trademark registration / application / filing

(IP Service Provider Service) The process of submitting the application to the competent trademark office / authority and coordinating between the customer and trademark office / authority in order to get the requested mark registered.

Trademark surveillance / monitoring / watch

Observation of third-party trademarks regarding certain criteria e.g., legal status, expiration date, owner change, etc.


(IP Service Provider Service) For some foreign filings a translation of the entire or parts of an IP application is required. Professional IP translation service providers can help to avoid weaknesses and mistakes.


Utility certificate

A utility model or utility certificate protects technical solutions of so-called “minor inventions.” Recognizing that improvements of existing products may have an important role in a local innovation system, utility certificates protect such inventions.



The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for Intellectual Property services, policy, information, and cooperation. WIPO is a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 193 member states.

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