Guide

Protecting intellectual property

Get help with intellectual property protection

Intellectual property (IP) protection can be an important part of ensuring your business' success, so it's essential that you get it right. Mistakes can be time-consuming and expensive. They can even result in your business' failure.

IP protection is a complex legal area and getting help is often sensible.

Sources of IP assistance

Two main sources of IP help in Northern Ireland are:

  • Invest Northern Ireland (NI) - Invest NI's specialist advisers can help you with patents, trade marks, design and copyright issues, as well as IP asset audits and licensing considerations. Find out more about Invest NI's IP support, or call the Invest NI Helpline on Tel 0800 181 4422 for advice.
  • Intellectual Property Office (IPO) - You can contact the IPO Information Centre on Tel 0300 300 2000 for advice or browse their guidance on IP protection.

Specialist legal advice

Patent attorneys are legally qualified in all aspects of patents, trade marks, design and copyright law. They are represented professionally by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA).

Trade mark attorneys are legally qualified in trade mark, design and copyright issues. They are represented professionally by the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA).

Protecting your ideas overseas

IP protection is territorial, which means if you have registered protection in the UK it applies only within the UK. However, the majority of countries have similar laws relating to IP and you can seek protection in other countries. See how to protect your intellectual property abroad.

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