Having the right type of intellectual property protection helps you to stop people stealing or copying the names of your products or brands, your inventions or the design, look or wording used for your products.
Examples of intellectual property protection include:
- Patents – protects new inventions; how they work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made
- Designs – protects the overall look of a product including the colour, shape, texture and material
- Trade marks – protects brands, such as your business name or logo, and can consist of a word, phrase, picture or a combination of all of these
- Copyright – protects written, dramatic, musical and artistic works including photos, recordings, software and databases
The Intellectual Property Office has a range of online support tools to help businesses identify what IP they own and need to protect.
Businesses can also access an IP Health Check which is a free online assessment of your business to help you identify and add value to your IP assets. Based on your answers to a series of simple questions, it provides a confidential report with advice on how to protect your IP.
More information can be found on the IPO’s business pages.