What is Intellectual Property? Identifying your IP About Intellectual Property Explorer
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Investigate all things created and developed by your business.

Physical property or assets such as computers or machinery are easy to recognise, because they are three dimensional, and can be seen, touched and felt. A business can count its three dimensional property.

But it is not that easy with intellectual property.

Because intellectual property is intangible, and cannot be seen, touched and felt, it can be perceived as a more elusive asset. The reality is that intellectual property is recognised as being amongst a business's most valuable assets in today's marketplace.

Day to day, businesses sell goods or services, but year to year they are building up ideas, goodwill and recognition linked to a brand, logo, product or standard of service. In reality they are building up value linked strongly to their IP assets. That's why these assets need to be identified and protected.

But lets consider the different types of intellectual property and the different forms they take. Some types of IP must be registered to exist. These are:

  • patents - for new or improved products or processes
  • trade marks - for brands including words, symbols, pictures, sounds, scents or a combination of these
  • designs - for the shape or appearance of manufactured goods, and
  • plant breeder's rights for new plant varieties.

Aside from these, there are a number of IP rights that exist without the need for formal registration such as copyright, confidential information and trade secrets.

Copyright covers books, art, music and sound recordings, photographs, software, databases, films,  advertisements and promotional materials while confidential information and trade secrets could include any information that would lose its value if it was obtained by your competitors such as business plans or client listings.

Identify what rights may apply to your business.



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