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

Non-traditional trade marks – bottle shapes

Distinctive bottle shapes and packaging can be protected as a trade mark, this can be valuable to food and drink manufacturers to help them to stand out, we explore the details.

9th Jul 2020 | Blog

Geographical indications explained

Not just a tasty-sounding combination. Stilton and Cornish pasties cannot be used on just any cheese or pasty product. This is because they’re protected by geographical indications (GIs).

7th Jul 2020 | Blog

Leverage your brand to build a successful business

Your brand has never been a more important part of building a business in the food and drink sector - how to you leverage it to make your business a success?

1st Jul 2020 | Blog

Which food and drink companies got there first?

To what lengths did Bass Brewery go to secure the UK’s first registered trade mark? We take a historical look at the early UK trade mark registrations you’ll still recognise today.

29th Jun 2020 | Blog
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