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Understanding IP

By ensuring the interests of both innovators and the wider public are well balanced and protected, our IP framework empowers creativity and innovation.
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Understanding IP

Intellectual Property (IP) offers tangible protections to intangible assets - creations of the minds such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, and symbols, names, and images used in commerce.

Due to their elusive nature, your ideas and inventions require different protections from physical assets like buildings and machinery. IP protects these ideas, inventions, and more generally, your innovation. Over the last few decades, the results of intellectual endeavour, from technological solutions to brand names among others, have become increasingly important for businesses to succeed, comprising often more than three-quarters of firms’ assets. Accordingly, their importance for doing business successfully in increasingly fast-moving industries has grown massively.

Whereas it can be difficult to put a finger on exactly what the idea or knowledge behind it is, IP can be captured: in patents or trade secrets where technology is concerned; in trademarks when it comes to brand and product names; in industrial designs for physical appearance; and in copyright for documents and code. There are others, but these are the main IP categories.

Why does IP matter?

By legally protecting your ideas with IP, you maximise their outcomes and optimise your business's success.

Intellectual Property (IP) is protected in law, which enables you to earn recognition or financial benefits from what you invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and those of the wider public, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.
To reap the full benefits of your efforts in developing ideas, products, services, and the names they go by, you protect them through IP. By holding an IP right, you can claim exclusivity, meaning that your development effort is rewarded by your right to be – for a time – the only one who can use your innovation. Without this exclusivity, there does not seem much point in investing in innovation.

On the other hand, the registration of an IP right requires the publication of precisely the invention you mean to keep off-limits for everyone. While no one can use your exact invention, they can, being aware of it, try to work around the protection and develop it further for their own purposes.

If you cannot claim exclusivity for whatever reasons, it makes sense to keep specific developments secret, again to prevent others from claiming the reward for your efforts.

Likewise, for customers to be able to identify your products and you as their maker, your name and that of your products are protected through trademarks. Anyone pretending to trade under your name can be penalised. This way, you build and maintain your reputation, thus creating visibility and customer loyalty and retention.

So, IP protects you, your reputation, your technology, an, through all that, your revenue and market position. IP might be immaterial, but its benefits are very real.
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How IP empowers innovation

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Types of IP

P Patent

A patent gives you exclusive control over the production, use, or sale of your invention for up to 20 years, within the jurisdiction where it's granted.

UC Utility Certificates

A utility certificate gives you exclusive control over the production, use, or sale of a technical invention that increases an object's utility or functionality, such as the object's shape, configuration, or components.

ID Industrial Designs

An industrial design protects the unique appearance of a product, such as its shape, pattern, ornamentation, or a combination of these elements, if it can be produced at a commercial scale.

TM Trademarks

A trademark gives legal protection to your brand's identity: a word, phrase, symbol, design, sound, or combination of these elements. By distinguishing your products or services, it signifies ownership and helps you guard against counterfeiting and fraud.

C Copyrights

A copyright gives you exclusive control over the right to copy, use, or sell your original creative work, from books and music to pictures and software. Your content is automatically protected if it's creative, unique, and fixed on a medium that you can see or hear.

TS Trade Secrets

A trade secret protects confidential know-how or information that has commercial value because it's secret, is known only to a limited group, and is safeguarded proactively. Trade secrets give you a competitive edge. They can also be sold or licensed.

IP Simulator

Not sure which type of IP you might have? Try our user-friendly free tool.

Whatever your product or service is, it's likely protected by one or more primary IP rights.

Identify your potential IP type

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