Intellectual property: the basics
Intellectual property (IP) refers to the creative outputs of the mind, for example, inventions, artistic works, symbols, names, etc. If you have a business, you are likely to own some type of IP.
IP assets can be tangible or intangible. Both can have substantial value 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 explains the different types of intellectual property and where you can find them in your business. It tells you how to protect innovation and commercially exploit it through IPRs. By highlighting the advantages of protecting intellectual property, this guide aims to help you create value from your ideas.
New and young businesses can use our intellectual property checklist for start-ups to ensure that they adequately protect any intellectual property assets that they create.
Some areas of IP rights and legislation will be affected by EU Exit from 1 January 2021. For current information on these, see: EU exit and innovation and R&D.