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Unlocking the value of our ideas – what really is Intellectual Property?


In today’s dynamic, diverse and competitive business landscape, safeguarding your innovative ideas and creative assets is increasingly paramount. Many businesses’ largest and most valuable assets include things which are not physical and instead are intangible such as creations, concepts or ideas – this is intellectual property. 

But what actually is intellectual property and how can this be protected? Pete Konieczko-Hansom, Head of IP law at Blacks Solicitors, discusses four key types of protecting your personal or businesses intellectual property and the importance of doing this.

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property (IP) encompasses a broad spectrum of intangible assets. This includes patents, trademarks, copyright and trade secrets. These IP rights provide creators and innovators within businesses with a legal framework to control, protect and monetise their ideas, products and services.

Patent Services

In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, securing patents and exploiting them commercially is vital for companies looking to safeguard and monetise their innovations and inventions. It’s recommended to contact an IP specialist to navigate the patent application process effectively.

TradeMark registration and management

Your brand, business or idea is a cornerstone of your business identity. Businesses are advised to seek professional advice to protect their portfolios against any possible infringements. This can be achieved in a number of ways including trademark applications and licences to ensure that you have control over how your brands are used and exploited.

Copyright protection is also Intellectual Property

Your creative work deserves recognition and protection. Copyright protects the authors of original works, including literacy, dramatic, musical and artistic work, from unauthorised use by third parties.

IP specialists are able to assist copyright holders in protecting their literary, artistic, musical and creative works and potentially recover damages if this copyright is breached.

Trade Secrets and confidential information protection

For businesses that rely on proprietary information, safeguarding trade secrets is paramount. To qualify as a trade secret, this information must be commercially valuable and be known only to a limited group of people.

Trade Secrets should be identified and protected to ensure that a business retains its competitive advantage.  This can be achieved by the use of confidentiality/non-disclosure agreements and provisions in larger commercial contracts.

Protecting IP should be a high priority for businesses and individuals who own IP as the unauthorised use of its IP can be a serious threat to a company’s success, profitability and future.

More information on how to protect your personal or businesses Intellectual Property.