It’s one thing to know what intellectual property is and another thing to decide what protection is right for you and your work. As discussed in our previous post, there are different ways to protect different types of work.
Creators get some rights automatically and other protections require you to apply. In the event that someone tries to steal or copy your work, having the right protection in place will make it easier to take legal action. The type of protection you can get is dependent on what you have created.
Top tips for protecting your intellectual property:
- It is best to not share your work until it has been registered.
- In the event that you do need to share your work before it has been registered, you should use a non-disclosure agreement.
- More than one type of protection can be associated with the same product. For example, you can register your business name and logo as a trade mark, and copyright the images or drawings of your products associated with that business.
- Be prepared for the costs of taking legal action in the event that someone copies or steals your work.
The different types of intellectual property protection are:
Examples of intellectual property include, but are not limited to, writing and literary work, music, art, photography, films, web content and sound recordings.
- Design right
Example of intellectual property is the shapes of objects.
Both copyright and design right are automatic protections that are acquired when you have created an original piece of work.
Other protections that require you to apply are:
Examples of intellectual property include, but are not limited to, inventions and products such as tools and machinery. Applications can take up to five years to be processed.
- Trade marks
Examples of intellectual property include, but are not limited to, product names, logos and jingles. Applications can take up to four months to be processed.
- Registered designs
Examples of intellectual property include, but are not limited to, the appearance of a product such as shape, packaging, patterns, colours and decoration. Applications can take up to one month to be processed.
Protecting your intellectual property can be costly, but it is worth it when you consider the time, effort and money that you have invested into creating an original piece of work. For further information about the type of intellectual property protection you have, or think you may need, you can contact patent or trade mark specialist.
T K Williams-Nelson