Protecting your business or idea is fundamental if you want to successfully develop your creation. Intellectual Property (IP) is a form of original creation that can be bought or sold. IP law is used to protect ideas or businesses, by granting the owners certain exclusive rights to various intangible assets, such as: brands, designs, songs or intellectual creation.
The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) states that there are four principles types of IP: patents, trade marks, designs and copyright, although there are also other ways to protect your business, such as confidentiality agreements.
The IPO lists a variety of ways that IP can be used to protect businesses or ideas:
The exclusive rights allow owners of intellectual property to benefit from their creation and can provide financial incentive for investment in the business. James Dyson, the designer and inventor of Dyson vacuum cleaners, learnt the importance of protecting his designs the hard way. His Ballbarrow design was patented and owned by the company Kirk-Dyson for whom he worked, and so when he was ousted by the shareholders, he left without his design. This was a mistake he vowed never to repeat again.