Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind. We are surrounded by and constantly interact with someone’s intellectual property. For example, while reading this blog post, you will come across photographs protected by copyright, you are sitting in front of your computer which bears a brand name protected by a trademark (for example, Lenovo), you are probably sitting on a chair possibly protected by design rights and you might be holding a pen whose mechanism has been patented at some point.
There is a general consensus as to what makes the core of IP content, such as literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, recordings, films and broadcasting, inventions, registered and unregistered designs, signs, names and images capable of distinguishing the goods or services. Therefore, anything you have created, from an idea how to develop your business to the logo or computer code, may represent your intellectual property.
If you are an IT company, a piece of software you developed is protected by your copyright.
Intellectual Property is protected by IP law such as copyright, patents, designs, trademarks, geographical indications and trade secrets. They give the creator the right to exploit this property and prevent others from making unauthorized use of their IP for a limited period of time. However, there is no general consensus as to the limits of Intellectual Property Law. In this brief overview, we will focus only on most common types of IP rights in our daily practice: trademarks, copyright, patents and trade secrets. If you wish to find out more about industrial design, please click here.