What is intellectual property

Intellectual property, commonly referred to by its abbreviation IP, is the subject area of tangible or intangible property, that is created by an individual or company, for the purpose of using it in commerce. IP is usually intangible property such as copyrights to music or the patent for an idea, and so it is important that the creation is recognized by the appropriate intellectual property office, in order to obtain legal protection over its use. IP can be in the form of inventions, ideas, literary and artistic works, designs, names, symbols and logos.

Intellectual property explained

The specialism of intellectual property is broad in scope and as such, is considered a relatively complex industry to understand. It is therefore advised for all IP owners, to enlist the services of an specialist attorney or a professional consultancy firm, to guide them in registering their IP rights. It is also vital to understand the applicable intellectual property laws in place that will determine how you can use your IP and the rights given to you as a registered IP owner. BY understanding the relevant laws you will be able to use your creation in line with the necessary regulations, thereby ensuring you can renew your rights when required.

The definition of intellectual property is also wide in scope and can be any form of intangible creation from ideas for inventions, trade names and designs, to music, literature and discoveries. Officially, intellectual property comprises of copyrights, patents, trade secrets, trademarks and industrial design rights on a global scale.

Intellectual property registries focus on the protection of creations by giving them exclusive rights over the use of it in all jurisdictions where the creation is registered. It is the scope of the applicable IP law to provide remedies where a person’s IP rights are infringed.

WIPO –World Intellectual Property Organization – divides intellectual property into two main categories; industrial property, and copyrights. Industrial property extends to trademarks, patents and industrial designs while copyright includes all manners of literary and artistic works such as poems, photos, paintings etc.

In order to obtain protection over the use of your IP, all property owners will need to register their creation with the appropriate registry in the countries they require the set of exclusive ownership rights in. Most IP laws will act in the favor of a person who owns a registered type of intellectual property over an unregistered one and so it is always advised to register your IP, particularly where there is a risk of competitors infringing your rights or passing off your IP as their own.