Protecting the Intellectual Property in your business

Intellectual Property


Pretty much any organisation has Intellectual Property (IP) assets. These range from the business name itself, through to the organisation’s databases and products. An organisation’s unique IP assets can form the basis of competitive advantage over competitors, help generate long-term growth and attract investment.

As such, Intellectual Property can have substantial value, yet many businesses do not adequately protect these assets.

Examples of IP might include:

  • The design of current products and those under development
  • The trading name of a business and its products and possibly its service range
  • Its organisational brand identity and any product or divisional brands it might possess
  • In some instances, campaign slogans
  • Bespoke software and inventions
  • Databases – the collection, storing and protection of data rather than its constituent elements
  • Some aspects of original design and photography

Chances are, if your Intellectual Property has value, someone will want to copy it. Adequate protection of your IP and its use will prevent people from copying your ideas. It may also lead third parties to collaborate, invest or even acquire.

How to protect your Intellectual Property

IP protection rights are usually time limited and include:

Trademarks are perhaps the most recognised form of protection. They identify and protect items such as your business name, product names and logos.

Copyright protects the origin of your creative work. This can include literary and artistic works, website content and marketing materials.

Patents protect your inventions and are core to research and development. They can provide an essential period of exclusivity for new inventions. The patent application process is complex and requires specific IP expertise and experience.

Registered designs offers protection of original design for up to 25 years.

Businesses need to be mindful that their customer databases are also valuable commercial assets. In the professional services sector, the theft or removal of customer data is something of a problem. This is often associated with employees breaking away and setting up in competition. The law can help protect any unauthorised removal, copying or use of your data.

IP enforcement and disputes can be complex and cross international boundaries. Businesses need robust measures in place to protect their assets and be able to act swiftly against those who infringe their IP rights.

To discuss how you can protect the intellectual property assets in your organisation, contact us and one of our specialists can respond to the specific issues associated with your organisation.

0800 302 9448