Intellectual Property 101

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property (IP) is something unique which is created by you or you and a few others. Ideas do not have an intellectual property. An IP is created by a design you draw, words you write, music you compose or record.

Protect first, share second

If you think you have intellectual property which you want to protect, it is important to ensure protection is in place BEFORE you share it with anyone else or you could lose the ability to protect it.

A non-disclosure agreement may help but having your intellectual property protection in place first is key.

How to protect Intellectual Property

It’s important to use the right mechanism to protect your intellectual property.

Copyright and Design Rights protections are automatically given to you when you create these types of intellectual property. You have to apply for other protections such as trade marks, registered designs and patents.

It is also important to note that although these protections are afforded in most jurisdictions globally, most countries have their own application process which you will need to go through. The period of protection also varies from country to country.

IP protection can be time-consuming and costly so it is worth considering in which countries you want to safeguard your IP.

Why bother?

Safeguarding IP can protect competitive advantage and enable new revenue streams from licensing your IP to others.

Research commissioned by the UK Intellectual Property Office found that firms which invest in intellectual property rights increased net profits by 30 – 62%, leading to 18% more investment in research and development.

Blog by Jo Strain, CMI Southern Board member


Webinar on IP

Book for the CMI Southern and CIPR webinar on Intellectual Property on 9 October 2017. The webinar will cover why IP is important to you and your organisation. Speakers will be from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).


More Information on IP

UK Government Guidance on Intellectual Property including how to search for previously registered intellectual property and how to protect your intellectual property

Five Myths about Intellectual Property addresses common misunderstandings about intellectual property.

Join our discussion on Twitter @CMISouthern, CMI Southern LinkedIn or email us.

Want to know more about IP? CMI Southern, CIPR Local Public Services and the UK Intellectual Property Office will be running a webinar in the new year on this subject.