Intellectual property protection overseas

Key intellectual property protection terms

Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) - professional body that represents Patent Attorneys.

Copyright - automatic protection for original literary, artistic, musical and dramatic work offered by the vast majority of countries worldwide. Lasts for the lifetime and up to 70 years after the death of the creator in the UK, US and EU. Copyright protection varies in length in other countries.

Counterfeit goods - goods which carry a trade mark, without authorisation, for the same kind of goods.

Design right - automatic protection provided to designs. Last for three years from the point designs are first made public.

Designations of origin/geographical indications - the right, provided under EU and UK law, to limit the naming of certain products according to their origin - eg Champagne sparkling wine, Cheddar cheese, Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.

European Union trade mark - protection within all the countries of the European Union (EU) for the signs or symbols that distinguish products or services in the marketplace. Gives you exclusive rights to use your trade mark and take action against anybody infringing your rights within the EU. Applications are made through the EU Intellectual Property Office, previously knows as the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Markets (OHIM).

European Patent Convention - process that allows businesses wishing to obtain patent protection in more than one European country to do so with a single application.

European Patent Office (EPO) - body that processes applications for European patent protection in countries that have signed up to the European Patent Convention.

Geneva Act - act that allows the accession of government organisations and countries (including EU members) to the Hague Agreement.

Grey market goods - goods manufactured with the consent of the right-holder, but marketed without their consent. Goods manufactured or bearing a trade mark under conditions other than those agreed by the right-holder.

Hague Agreement - simplified process for applying for international design protection. Allows businesses to achieve design protection in several countries with a single application. The agreement is administered by the World Intellectual Property Office.

Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) - professional body that represents Trade Mark Attorneys.

Intellectual Property Office - official government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights in the UK.

International trade mark - international protection for signs and symbols that distinguish your products and services from others in the marketplace.

International Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT) - process that allows you to make a single initial application through the World Intellectual Property Organization for patent protection in 142 countries.

Madrid System - process that allows holders of UK trade marks to register their trade mark in any of the countries party to the Madrid Agreement or Madrid Protocol using a single application to the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Office for Harmonization in the Internal Markets (OHIM) - body that processes applications for community trade marks. From 23 March 2016, OHIM has been renamed into the EU Intellectual Property Office.

Patent - protection for new inventions protecting how they work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made. Patent protection allows inventors to prevent others infringing their rights.

Patent-infringing goods - those that infringe a patent under UK law or a supplementary protection certificate under EU law.

Pirated goods - copies made without the consent of the copyright holder.

Registered community design - provides the exclusive right to use designs in all EU countries, to take action against infringements and stop imports into the EU of goods that infringe the design.

Right holder - the holder (eg owner, licensee, or authorised representative) of a trade mark, copyright, design right, patent or other intellectual property.

Trade Mark - signs or symbols that distinguish products or services in the marketplace.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) - agency of the United Nations that promotes the worldwide protection of intellectual property.