Protecting your intellectual property

Protect your businesses intellectual property with information on design rights, trade marks, patents and copyright.

  • Ensure employment and consultancy contracts clearly state your ownership of all intellectual property developed for you.
  • Use patent searches early in the development of new products and processes to establish whether they are already protected by someone else.
  • Keep a log of evidence recording the development of intellectual property: for example, dated and signed copies of drawings and drafts.
  • Keep new inventions secret until you have decided whether their commercial viability justifies the cost of patent protection.
  • Consider alternatives, for example, rapidly capturing a market niche to discourage new competitors.
  • Consider filing an initial patent application to give you the time to develop or sell the idea; contact a patent agent for advice.
  • Contact a trade mark agent for advice on trade mark searches and registration to ensure that any trade mark you develop is properly protected.

Click to read more on protecting your intellectual property, including the cardinal rules.

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