A trade mark can be any sign that identifies you as the owner of your goods or services to make it clear they belong to you.
Many things can be registered as a trade mark - names and logos are the most common.
A registered design right protects the look of an item, not the functional aspects of its appearance or how it works.
The design could be a two-dimensional image – such as a logo, pattern or icon. Or it can be a three-dimensional physical object.
Patents protect inventions from being used or sold without the owner’s permission.
A patent gives you a monopoly right to take legal action to stop any competition to your invention for a limited period, normally 20 years.
Copyright is an automatic intellectual property right that protects original works from being copied without the permission of the creator or licence holder.
Sound recordings, films, broadcasts and original artistic, musical, dramatic and literary works are all things that can be protected by copyright.
A trade secret is can be any confidential business information which provides an organisation with a competitive edge. They are often used when an invention is not eligible for a patent or if the inventor does not wish to disclose the ‘secret’ publicly, which a patent requires you to do.
A GI designates that a product is of a certain nature, quality and reputation linked to where they are made, or characteristics linked to that place.
To be a GI a sign or word must indicate a product as coming from a certain location and the reputation for quality that comes from that place.
Learn why trade marks are valuable business assets.
Protecting the appearance of a product with a registered design will help you to stop others from selling something that looks similar.
Copyright is an automatic intellectual property right that protects original works from being copied without permission.
Some products, often food and drink, are synonymous with certain locations for their quality - these can be protected.
How can you get a trade mark - we take you through the process step-by-step.
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the government body who grant trade mark and design registrations in the UK.
Registering a trade mark or design at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) gives protection in all EU member states.
You can file trade marks in over 100 countries via the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on one application.
How should brand owners approach the legal and reputational impacts of taking action to protect their trade marks?
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