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Sunshine & IP!

It’s 25 degrees outside, the sun is shining and my hay fever is under control. So why am I sitting in a meeting room at Staffordshire University rather than being our enjoying the sunshine. Intellectual Property – that’s why!

So what is Intellectual Property?

There are 5 main areas:

  1. Patents protect new inventions and cover how products work, what they do, how they do it, what the are made of and how they are made
  2. Trade Marks protect brands. This could be for a business name, a product or a service. The trade mark could be made up of words, logos or a combination of both and can even be a sound or action based.
  3. Design protects the overall visual appearance of a product
  4. Copyright protects books, art, music, websites, photographs, software, databases, film and print, radio and television broadcasts and promotional material
  5. Trade secrets can be an important part of your business. The law of confidentiality protects trade secrets. To keep trade secrets protected, you must establish that the information is confidential, and ensure that anyone you tell about it signs a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). If they then tell anyone about it, this is a breach of confidence and you can take legal action against them.

It’s essential for any business owner (large or small) to understand Intellectual Property as their business will almost certainly be impacted by several more aspects of Intellectual Property. An IP Health Check can help establish what IP your business has. Go to www.ipo.gov.uk/iphealthcheck

If you need more information on Intellectual Property, the best place to start is www.ipo.gov.uk/business
There are multiple free resources on the website such as free NDA templates and Case Studies to explain the different types of IP in more detail.

So go and take a look – but maybe when it starts raining again!

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