Intellectual property: the basics



Intellectual property (IP) refers to the creative outputs of the mind - for example, inventions, artistic works, symbols and names. If you have a business, you are likely to own some type of IP.

IP assets can be valuable and are therefore important to protect. You can use specific legal rights called intellectual property rights (IPRs) to protect your IP. These rights include copyright, trade marks, patents and design rights.

This guide describes the different types of intellectual property and tells you where you can find them in your business. It also explains the advantages of protecting intellectual property that allow you to create value from your ideas.

Early-stage businesses can use our intellectual property checklist for start-ups to help them devise and implement an effective IP strategy.

The new UK National Security and Investment Act 2021 came into effect fully on 4 January 2022. Businesses and investors should check the guidance to understand what types of acquisitions are covered by the new rules.

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