Types of intellectual property

Trade marks

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. 

Click here to find out more about trade marks

Designs

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.

Click here to find out more about designs 

Patents

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.

Click here to find out more about patents

Copyright

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. 

Click here to find out more about copyright

Trade secrets

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. 

Click here to find out more about trade secrets

Geographical indications

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. 

Click here to find out more about geographical indications

What is a trade mark?

Learn why trade marks are valuable business assets.

What is a design?

Protecting the appearance of a product with a registered design will help you to stop others from selling something that looks similar.

What is copyright?

Copyright is an automatic intellectual property right that protects original works from being copied without permission.

What is a geographical indication?

Some products, often food and drink, are synonymous with certain locations for their quality - these can be protected.

How to get a trade mark

Getting a trade mark

How can you get a trade mark - we take you through the process step-by-step.

UK trade marks

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the government body who grant trade mark and design registrations in the UK.

EU trade marks

Registering a trade mark or design at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) gives protection in all EU member states.

International trade marks

You can file trade marks in over 100 countries via the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on one application.

CITMA blog

How your trade mark adds value to your business 

Owning a registered trade mark is like having another key member of your team – constantly working to bring you success.  

8th Mar 2021 | Blog

Cultural (mis)appropriation in trade marks

What do Kim Kardashian West’s fashion line Kimono Solutionwear and the Washington Redskins have in common? They are among the increasing number of brands accused of cultural (mis)appropriation.

22nd Feb 2021 | Blog

What has happened to your EU trade marks?

If you owned an EU trade mark at the end of 2020 you now also own an identical UK one, created automatically and for free – we explore what businesses need to know.

19th Jan 2021 | Blog

Trade marks at Christmas

You may be surprised to know that some companies own trade marks for some well-known Christmas phrases, we explore some of the more famous examples.

18th Dec 2020 | Blog
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