As a start-up business, you've probably heard the term 'intellectual property' (or IP for short) but are unsure of what it means.
You know copyright exists but how does it apply to your business and your website? Are you unsure of the difference between registering your company with Companies House and registering your trade mark with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO)?
To help you answer any questions you have, the IPO has a suite of new and improved 'IP for Business' tools that can help you understand the basics of IP. Best of all, they're completely free to use and are accessible via desktops, tablets and smart phones.
As a taster, here's a brief description of the different IP rights:
- 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 these
- Copyright – protects written, dramatic, musical and artistic works including photos, recordings, software and databases
This should give you an idea of how important your IP rights are to the growth and sustainability of your business. It's important to identify and protect these rights early, so the next step is to check out our online support tools to help you make a start:
· What is it? A free, interactive online learning tool to help you identify assets which may be protected by IP rights. Made up of four modules on the main IP rights, it takes around an hour to complete and is also CPD accredited.
· Who is it for? Everyone, from small business owners to professional advisors.
· What is it? 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.
· Who is it for? Businesses looking for a more detailed look at their IP.
Our business pages are also packed with guidance, case studies, details of upcoming events and information on where to access further support. You can also sign up to our IP for Business e-alerts to keep up to date with the latest news and updates from the IPO.
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