Intellectual property: the basics
How you can protect your intellectual property
The way you can protect your intellectual property depends on what exactly it is:
- Copyright is granted to the person or organisation that creates published artistic work, which includes writing, film music and computer software. Unlike most other forms of intellectual property, copyright is granted automatically when the work is first published. For more information, see our guide on copyright for your business.
- Patents protect inventions, including the features and processes that make things work. For more information, see our guide on how to get patent protection for your business.
- Trade marks are symbols that differentiate between goods and services and can be logos or brand names. For more information, see our guide on how to use trade marks in your business.
- Designs can be protected by registering them, and through design right. For more information, see our guide on design right and registration.
- Digital intellectual property can be protected in other ways than using the law, such as encryption and using digital signatures. For more information, see our guide to digital intellectual property and your business.
Did you know?
There are several Government or affiliated organisations who offer a range of products and services that can help your business with design, innovation, intellectual property, measurement and standards needs.
Download a full list of services provided by these organisations for more information (PDF).
You can also use our interactive tool to find our how to protect your ideas if you are unsure what the best solution is for you.
Subjects covered in this guide
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Intellectual Property Office