Last edited 01 Apr 2016

Intellectual property

Contents

[edit] Introduction

Intellectual property is property that is individually created and includes; inventions, literary and artistic work, designs, symbols and names and images used in commerce. Intellectual property protection includes copyright, patents, designs and trademarks. It is possible to legally protect:

  • Product or brand names.
  • Inventions.
  • The design and look of a product.
  • Things made, written or produced.

The official government body responsible for intellectual property rights in the UK is the Intellectual Property Office, which is an executive agency.

[edit] Ownership

Intellectual property is owned by an individual if it is:

  • Created by the individual (and meets the requirements for copyright, patent or a design).
  • The intellectual property rights were purchased by the individual from the creator or other owner.
  • The individual has a brand that can be a trademark.

It is possible for intellectual property to:

  • Have one or more owners.
  • Be in the ownership of a business or people.
  • Be sold or transferred.

[edit] Protection

By gaining intellectual property rights, it may be possible to take legal action against anyone who steals or copies the property. The exact protection afforded depends on what has been created.

It is possible to protect a single product with more than one type of protection.

[edit] Copyright

Copyright is a legal term that describes the rights creators have in relation to their literary and artistic work. Copyright protects:

[edit] Trademarks

A trademark is a unique register that can include:

  • Words.
  • Sounds.
  • Logos.
  • Colours.

There is a register of existing trademarks and a weekly journal that shows the latest accepted applications.

[edit] Patents

A patent is a right granted for an invention that prevents other people from making, selling or importing the invention. A database exists which lists worldwide patents.

[edit] Industrial designs

Design rights protect the shapes of objects, packaging, patterns, colours and decoration. It protects the design for 10 years after it was first sold or 15 years after it was created.

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.

[edit] External references