Protecting your intellectual property

Protecting your intellectual property makes it easier to take legal action against anyone who steals or copies it.

Types of protection

The type of protection you can get depends on what you’ve created. You get some types of protection automatically, others you have to apply for.

Automatic protection

Copyright - Writing and literary works, art, photography, films, TV, music, web content, sound recordings

Design right - Shapes of objects

Protection you have to apply for

Trademarks - Product names, logos, jingles

Registered designs - Appearance of a product including, shape, packaging, patterns, colours, decoration

Patents - Inventions and products, eg machines and machine parts, tools, medicines

Time to allow for application

Trademarks - 4 months

Registered designs - 1 month

Patents - Around 5 years

Keep these types of intellectual property secret until they’re registered. If you need to discuss your idea with someone, use a non-disclosure agreement.

Source: GOV.UK

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/

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