Intellectual property is a complex area of law which you can use to protect you and your business when you create something new and original. It covers a vast number of things such as business names, logos, inventions, written work and artwork too.

Intellectual property law is used to make sure that someone else does not try to pass off your work as their own. There are different parts of intellectual property law which cover different parts of your concept and you must make sure that your original concept is covered by the correct part of the law, or else you may not be protected.

The first section is copyright. Most people have heard of this and it covers all written work like articles, website copy, books, magazines, poetry and even plays. It also covers artwork such as photography, drawings and even computer software too.

The second is design rights. This speaks for itself and protects the physical shape of your original concept, like a drinking bottle or a nail file.

Next is patents. Again most people have heard of patents and these protect inventions. These have to be unique and original in order to receive a patent and they also have to be a product that can be made for a patent to apply.

A trademark is there to protect logos or any part of your brand like a slogan or a jingle which makes your company identifiable.

Lastly, there is registered design which will protect the embellishments or decorations on your product and its arrangement too.

Each of these parts of intellectual property law have their own rules and applications too, so it is really very important you understand whether your creation is actually able to be protected, and if so, by which part of intellectual property law.

If you do not use the correct part of intellectual property law, your creation may not be protected, so again it is crucial to understand which parts of intellectual property apply so you have full protection. Due to the complex nature of intellectual property you should make sure that you obtain advice from a specialist solicitor, who can give you clear advice to ensure you and your business are protected properly.

Once your item or product is protected then this will stop anyone using it without permission and you may wish to make a charge for usage, for example if it is for the use of photographs.

For more information about this article or any aspect of our commercial legal services, please call us on 0800 142 2775 or reply to this email and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).