What is IP?

Intellectual property (IP) is an exclusive right for creations of the mind which are ‘new’ or ‘original’. In business terms, this also means your organisation’s proprietary knowledge. IP can be an extremely valuable asset that may be bought, sold or licensed, just like other assets.

The most common forms of IP are:

  • Patents – The protection of new or improved products, processes or methods.
  • Trade marks – The protection of letters, words, signatures, numerals, brands, aspects of packaging, shapes, colours, sounds or scents, names, phrases, logos used to distinguish goods or services of one trader from another.
  • Registered designs – The protection of the shape or appearance of a manufactured product.
  • Copyright – ‘Original’ creative, intellectual, or artistic work.
  • IP rights –

Trade secrets/confidentiality – Confidential information such as know how or procedures.

Circuit layouts – The original layout designs for integrated circuits and computer chips.

Domain names – An internet address consisting of a string of alphanumeric characters and dashes separated by periods.

Plant breeder’s rights – The registration of new plant varieties.