Intellectual property is something that is created using your mind. Some examples are paintings, stories, symbols and inventions.

You become the owner of intellectual property if you created it using your own judgment and/or skill, purchased the rights to it from another or have a brand that could be a trademark like McDonald’s or Starbucks.

Intellectual property can have more than one owner, belong to a person or a business and be sold or transferred. The rights to intellectual property are what allows you to make money from any intellectual property you own. It is therefore important that such rights are protected to prevent others from using it to their advantage.

Some types of protection automatically arise such as copyright and design right. For protection of trademarks, registered designs and patents, an application must be made. Applications for trademarks usually take around 4 months, registered designs around 1 month and patents up to 5 years. It is therefore important that you keep your intellectual property secret until your application has been approved. You may wish to do so through non-disclosure agreements.

You can apply for and make use of more than one type of intellectual property protection. It is therefore important to seek professional advice from an experienced intellectual property solicitor, patent attorney or trademark attorney.

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