Intellectual Properties Rights
Intellectual Property (‘IP’) refers to creations of the intellect for which a legal monopoly is granted.
- IP rights are objects of property – they can be owned, bought and sold like real (tangible) property.
- 4 main IP rights: Trade Marks, Patents, Registered Designs and Copyright.
o Trade Marks indicate who made a product, or provides a service (see below)
o Patents protect inventions – new products and methods of manufacture
o Registered Designs protect the appearance of new products
o Copyright protects creative works, including written works, art, music and photography.
A single product may be protected by two or more types of IP.
Legal definition (UK Trade Marks Act 1994):
A “trade mark” means any sign capable of being represented graphically which is capable of distinguishing goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings.
A trade mark may, in particular, consist of words (including personal names), designs, letters, numerals or the shape of goods or their packaging.
UK Trade Mark Renewal:
- In theory a trade mark can live forever
- In the UK you must renew it on the 10th anniversary of the filing date and every 10 years after that