IP for small businesses
We speak to David Evans from IPLab about Intellectual Property and protecting your business.
What is Intellectual Property and do I have it?
You may have heard the terms Copyright, Trademark or Patent used and might not be sure of what they mean. Below is a list of common Intellectual Property (IP) products and some of the things they cover:
- Copyright (writing, images, music)
- Trademark (name of product or brand, logo)
- Design right (the look of a product)
- Patent (how something works)
In almost every case a business will have Intellectual Property that it has created which can be registered. In most cases a business will have a name or logo that can be trademarked and possibly wording from a website that would be covered under copy right. Find out more about the different products in our podcast below.
Why should I register?
If you have worked hard on developing a brand or product you will want to make sure that someone doesn't come along and make money from it without your permission. Registration will enable you to protect your IP from others using it without your permission, if you do not register and someone else starts to use your IP it can be very difficult and costly to prove through a court.
Don't forget registering a domain name or incorporating a business name does not give you the same rights are registering your IP.
What if something is already registered?
If something is already registered, the safest way forward is not to use it. You may not encounter any issues locally but if you looked to expand to other jurisdictions you could encounter problems.
We spoke to David Evans from IPLab as part of the Digital Greenhouse podcast series. We discussed the different types of Intellectual Property, what they protect and how you go about registering.
Useful links to find out more:
If you want to find out more about what Intellectual Property your business may be able to register, the Guernsey Registry has developed an 'Introduction to IP' guidance booklet with examples of what can be registered.
The Guernsey Registry IPO website also gives you guidance on how to register all of the different products mentioned above and in the podcast.