What Is Intellectual Property?

When people think of property, they usually think of physical items such as land, houses, cars, electronic gadgets etc, Intellectual Property is different.

Intellectual Property (IP) is the product of someone’s mental efforts. Thus an individual’s creativity and innovation can be owned in the same way that one can own physical property.

National and International laws and conventions recognise the product of a person’s mental efforts as an Intellectual Property Right (IPR).

What Are The Types Of Intellectual Property?

Some forms of IP require formal application and examination before you can claim a right to ownership. Others, such as copyright, do not.

Applying for an IP right to protect your idea can be critical if you want to build a business and establish your presence in a market. It is also important to understand the different types of IP and the advantages of each. 

Patents – are concerned with inventions producing a technical result – of new and improved products, processes and uses that are capable of industrial application.

Trade Marks – are concerned with brand identity – principally of goods and services. They can be distinctive words, marks or other features, the purpose of which is to make a distinction in the mind of a customer between different traders, products and services. 

Designs – are concerned with the appearance of a product – of the whole or a part of a product – features of, in particular, shape, configuration, contours, texture or materials of the product itself not dictated by functional considerations. 

Copyright – is concerned with original literary works such as novels, poems and plays, musical and artistic works such as musical compositions, sound recordings and TV and radio broadcasts, software, multimedia films, drawings, maps, charts, plans, paintings, photographs and sculptures and works of architecture. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs.

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